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 second highest with tetra-cis-lycopene in our 2021 analysis plus it has good levels of phytoene; phytofluene and zeta-carotene. Indeterminate.
Golden Grape – Great bite sized golden orange fruits. Meaty little tomatoes that kids love. Tasty and highly attractive, great for salads. The fruit stay on the plants until late in the season. High in tetra-cis-lycopene. Indeterminate.
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.
Moonbeam – Lovely mild flavour, prolific golf ball-sized fruit. 2021 data showed the highest level of tetra-cis-lycopene at 4.2 for that year. This is a natural cross from ‘Moonglow’ that contains 30% more lycopene than ‘Moonglow’. Indeterminate.
Wally’s Spanish – Meaty bright orange beefsteak variety, reputed to be of Spanish origin, high levels of tetra-cis-lycopene as well as the highest levels of phytoene; phytofluene and zeta-carotene in 2021 analysis. This is a beautiful and tasty tomato for anyone liking a larger meaty tomato. Indeterminate.
Oley (or Olé in Spanish) – This is a natural cross of ‘Wally’s Spanish’. Just one plant to date that produced fruit half the size of ‘Wally’s Spanish’. Still experimental as we are waiting on data. Indeterminate.
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.