Heritage tomato varieties known to contain tetra-cis-lycopene
Tetra-cis-lycopene is a highly beneficial bioavailable form of lycopene, and exhibits a golden-orange or tangerine tomato colour. But not all tomatoes with this colour contain tetra-cis-lycopene, as this colour can also be expressed by beta-carotene. Hence it is necessary to chemically analyse each tomato variety to verify whether or not it contains tetra-cis-lycopene.
We provide here a list of all the varieties that we have had analysed and confirmed to have tetra-cis-lycopene to assist health conscious gardeners, healthy food advocates and researchers worldwide.
Our Tomato ‘Stars’
These are a few of the standout varieties that we are continuing to grow and research.
Golden Bell – A nice sized bright orange bell-shaped tomato. This one tested highest at 7.61 of tetra-cis-lycopene in our 2020 analysis plus it has good levels of polyphenolic compounds. This tomato is not commercially available, but we will have seeds available for distribution in the 2021 year.
Golden Grape – Original seeds sourced from Trade Winds Fruit. A bright and sweet variety. Bite-sized golden fruits with a sharp but full sweetness. Unusually quite fleshy for a small tomato, rather than very juicy. This one held on the vine very well until late in our season. Indeterminate. It tested with 6.01 of tetra-cis-lycopene in our 2020 results.
Golden Light – This is one of our selections from ‘Orange Teardrop’. This variety is also very similar to ‘Orange Roma’. A good producing and tasty Roma style tomato. This variety tested with 3.44 of tetra-cis-lycopene in the 2020 year.
Mini Olga – This is a mini version of an ‘Olga’s Round Golden Chicken Egg’ tomato. Also similar to ‘Mini Orange’. It is one of our selections. It scored with 6.65 in tetra-cis-lycopene in our 2020 results.
Moonglow – Original seeds sourced from Solana (Canada) where it is described as smooth, bright orange fruits with firm, dense flesh. High pectin. Round, slightly angular. Medium size. Indeterminate, 85 days Seed Savers Exchange describe this tomato as a brilliant, warm-orange slicer with great flavour. A real winner and one of the best, round, gold tomatoes. (Winner of Seed Saver’s Exchange 2007 Heirloom Tomato Tasting.) Moonglow is considered, by many tomato lovers, the tomato with the best texture and flavour of any gold tomato. Perfect to spark up tomato salads or to include in culinary creations. It tested with 4.88 of tetra-cis-lycopene in our 2020 results.
Olga’s Round Golden Chicken Egg – Original seeds sourced from Tomatofest and known as Olga’s Round Yellow Chicken Egg.
Described as “Russian heirloom from Siberia. Seeds collected in Russia by Bill McDorman of Hailey, Idaho. Introduced commercially by Seeds Trust in the early 90s. Indeterminate, regular leaf plant produces a very heavy production of 2 1/2,” 4-6 oz. round to oval, golden, thick-skinned tomatoes with sweet and slightly tart flavours”. Grows beautifully in Whanganui. Indeterminate, 70 days, mid-season. It scored with 4.32 of tetra-cis-lycopene in the 2020 year.
Tangella – Original seeds sourced from Tomatofest. A disease resistant, highly productive heirloom variety that produces clusters of 2-inch, round, bright-orange fruit containing intense fruity flavours with a nice snappy tang. This variety tested with 3.83 of tetra-cis-lycopene in the 2019 year.