cost of fruits and vegetables often make up a large percentage of
their retailing price. Some fruits and vegetables needs to be
transported with refrigeration, some need to be transport by air,
and some, by any means, could not stay fresh for more than a few
days. ( e.g. tomatoes and strawberry )
and vegetables that are genetically engineered for easier
transport do not decompose this fast. They lowered transportation
cost as well as minimized wastage due to decomposition
have a short shelf life and can quickly go mouldy. Much of the
tomatoes produces are wasted because they are spoiled during the
process of transportation or retailing.
Twenty years ago, scientists first started to study the ripening
of the tomato. They identified and enzyme called pectin, which
helped ripening by breaking down the pectin which holds the plant
cell walls together, allowing the fruit to soften.
removing the gene, cutting a bit off, and then replacing the gene,
they were able to stop the enzyme form working. The altered tomato
ripened slower, remained firm, was easy to handle during transport
and there was much less wastage.
The picture shows tomatoes that are genetically modified to
make them ripen slower.