Kumato or black tomato: nutrients and characteristics

“Kumato” is the denomination of a tomato that has a particular color. See how you can use it, eat it and take advantage of it.

Last update: 08 September, 2022

The kumato or black tomato is becoming more and more popular in the markets. It is not only because of its color, but also because of its nutrients and characteristics.

From the gastronomic point of view, it is considered a tomato gourmet, especially for its juiciness and an intense sweet flavor. For many it is a type of transgenic fruit, but the truth is another.

What lies behind the origin of this interesting tomato? What are its nutritional properties and characteristics?

What is “kumato” and what is its origin?

The tomato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family solanaceae, the same of the potato and the eggplant. Its gender is Lycopersicum and there are different colors, such as traditional red, yellow, green, blue, brown and black.

the species L. esculentum is the most cultivated and has a great variety of wild species, among which is the kumato or black tomato.

The kumato It is a cultivated tomato that is characterized by its black color. It has an interesting history regarding its origin and is currently patented by the company that represents it.

It emerged in Almería (Spain), as natural response of wild tomatoes to adapt to drought and salinity conditions of the Mediterranean areas. Then, tasting its juiciness and delicious flavor, a farmer in the area decided to turn it into a form of cultivation.

Given the interest of this type of tomato, the Swiss seed corporation, known as Syngenta, decided to standardize it, crossing the original plantation of Spain with other varieties. The research lasted several years, until the characteristics of texture, appearance, flavor and good adaptation to saline soils were achieved.

Despite these crosses, it is not considered a genetically modified crop. That was how they patented it as the brand kumato.

In 2003 he arrived in the UK. It was later expanded to other markets, entering Spain in 2004. It is currently marketed in France, the United States, Switzerland and Germany.

Although red tomatoes are the most sold and consumed, black is not a transgenic form.

Characteristic

The cultivation of the black tomato does not keep many differences with respect to other varieties. It is a summer plantso it requires large doses of light, warm temperatures and ambient humidity between 60 to 80%.

However, like any solanaceae, is demanding in terms of soil characteristics. The black tomato harvest occurs between 5 to 6 months after planting.

The fruit is a shiny round berry, dark green to almost black.. It has a firm texture, it is juicy and, despite being sweeter than the traditional one, it also has a slightly acid taste.

A very noticeable feature, in addition to color, is that tend to ripen from the inside to the outside. It is for this reason that its texture is firm, smooth and crunchy when ripe. This makes it easy to cut into thin slices or large chunks for salads.

When they fully ripen they take on a dark brown color with green hues around the stem. It is a type of tomato gourmet that only needs added oil and salt.



Kumato Nutrients

The nutrients found in kumato they do not differ much from the traditional tomato, except for the amount of sugars and pigments. The nutrients appear in grams per 100 grams of black tomato:

  • Calories: twenty-one.
  • Fats: 0.3.
  • carbohydrates: 4.6 – 6.
  • Proteins: 0.8.
  • Fiber: 2.2.
  • Potassium: 427 milligrams.
  • Vitamin C: 23 milligrams.
  • Beta carotene: 800 micrograms.

The nutrient concentration of kumato it is similar to the traditional red tomato. In general, they have a low caloric intake, which is why they are a predominant ingredient in diets to lose weight. They also contain good fiber values, making them ideal for regulating the digestive process.

Potassium stands out among its nutrients, which regulates the balance of water and electrolytes in cells, as well as muscle contraction. It is also a good source of vitamins C and A, which act as antioxidants.

Unlike the red tomato, in the kumato the concentration of sugars is a little higher. Brix degrees, which measure the solutes present in the fruit’s water, can reach up to 6.

In other words, 100 milliliters of tomato juice provide 6 grams of fructose and other simple sugars. This gives it a sweeter taste. kumato.



Bioactive components and their benefits

Anthocyanins are flavonoid pigments present in red, blue, purple and very dark colored fruits. Naturally, they protect against ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun. Tomatoes contain them in good proportion.

According to a study carried out on black and blue tomatoes, the highest concentration of anthocyanins was obtained in the skin, followed by the pulp. Its proportions are above 4600 micrograms, which is what the common tomato contains.

The one that was found in the highest concentration was petunidin, observing a high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacity by eliminating free radicals. Likewise, a decrease in cell death was found in experiments in vitroby using the extract from the skin of these tomatoes.

Petunidine had a protective effect against retinal photoreceptor cell damage.. It was suggested that the intake of black and blue tomato extract could be useful for the treatment of different eye diseases. Furthermore, these pigments would also improve cognitive performance and be cardioprotective.

Lycopene was also found in higher concentration in the kumato than in the red tomato, whose value is 808 micrograms per 100 grams of edible part. Lycopene has been recognized as a powerful antioxidant, capable of improving cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative disorders.

For that reason, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has determined a recommended daily intake of lycopene equal to 0.5 milligrams per kilo of body weight.

The blue tomato is considered a transgenic variety. Therefore, there are other reservations against its consumption.

How much and how should the black tomato be consumed?

It is recommended to consume about 400 grams of black tomato or 2 large tomatoes daily., to ensure a good supply of antioxidants. The best way to take advantage of its bioactive compounds is by grinding or pureeing.

Steamed, stewed or baked, its flavors and nutrients are concentrated. Remember that when seasoning, the kumato it is much sweeter than any other.

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