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Is it normal for a tomato to have bright white seeds inside?
by F.L. Jacobs
(Dallas, TX, United States)
Q. I've lived many years and eaten many tomatoes but have never had one that was predominantly white inside - seeds, flesh, etc. Is this normal?
A. There are a couple of reasons tomato interiors may be white.
- White tomato varieties. Now growing more popular, white tomato varieties are white both inside and out.
- Tomatillos. A staple in Mexican food, tomatillos are related to tomatoes. They're about the size of a cherry tomato, with green exteriors and white interiors.
- Ripening. As green tomatoes move through the process of becoming red (or whatever color they are genetically wired to be), they progress through a whitening phase. Typical red tomatoes move from mature green to white to a tinge of pink to pink to red. White interiors with external color can mean the fruit is not fully ripe at the point at which you picked and cut it.
- Stink bugs. These pests insert their snouts underneath tomato skin. The enzyme they leave at the sting point turns that area of the tomato into liquid. The bug then drinks the liquid. Discolored areas appear on tomatoes where fluid is removed. They’re often white (sometimes yellowish or light green.)
- Gray wall. Tomatoes look splotchy, mottled or unevenly ripened. Outward grayish splotches on tomato surfaces may even collapse inward – thus the condition’s name. The inside of an affected tomato may also have whitish, grayish, yellowish, brownish, or greenish patches.
- A tomato's natural core. Some OP tomato varieties have white hard tissue found mainly near the stem end. Plant stress from water or heat as well as individual plant variation in non-hybrids can also contribute to white core in tomatoes.
Good luck and happy gardening!
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By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning writer and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading online source for growing tomatoes and using them.
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