What provides tomatoes there a red colour? The answer is Lycopene. Lycopene is a natural chemical that provided red colour to the fruits and vegetables. It is a type of carotenoid pigment found in pink guavas, pink grapefruits, watermelons, apricots, etc. It is found largely in tomatoes.
Lycopene can be intake by the body easily both the ways whether as a supplement or as food. Lycopene has a good medical significance in preventing various heart problems like atherosclerosis, cancer of uterine majorly, lung, pancreas, bladder, colon, breast, prostate, etc. it also helps to treat asthma and cataracts. Lycopene being a strong antioxidant protects damage to cells.
So, if the tomatoes are not turning red in colour, that means that variety of tomatoes lack in lycopene content. Reasons for tomatoes not turning red in colour are below:
Time of Maturity
Every tomato variety has a different time of maturity that is the time taken by a tomato to ripen from the day of plantation until it obtains a change in its colour. The smaller the variety of tomatoes the lesser time it takes to mature. It is like the Stupice, Glacier and early girl whereas the larger ones take much longer time. The average time taken by the tomatoes to mature is usually six to eight weeks after the flowering has pollinated.
A very cold temperature is not favourable for the ripening of tomatoes. Tomatoes require a medium climate for the ripening beyond which they will be cemented in the same state and gradually rot and also not take up the maturation colour. The tomatoes will lose their flavour once rotting starts. Sometimes it also happens that the tomatoes have taken up pink colour, but the climate changes do not allow it to ripen so they stick to the same state and gradually rot.
Too much hot climate is also not favourable for tomatoes although it is a hot climate plant too much heat can degrade them and restrict their maturation. The optimum temperature required for the ripening of tomatoes is 70 to 75 Fahrenheit beyond which the ripening process will be disturbed and eventually stop. At this temperature the carotene and lycopene can provide the red colour to the tomatoes but once the temperature is disturbed their functionality also disturbs causing the tomato to stay in the green colour state for a longer period.
A good way to protect your tomatoes from restricted green colour is to check on their size that is if the tomato has reached the maturation size, pick them and allow them to ripen indoors. An important tip is that do not give refrigeration to the tomatoes. It will spoil their original flavour.
Sometimes if the tomatoes are not taking red colour even after maturation, this means they are simply a non-red variety of tomatoes. There are many such varieties available in the market now. There is a large variety of different coloured tomatoes like yellow, green, pink and purple having a different time of maturation depending upon their varieties.
You can know that your non-red tomato variety has ripened by looking upon the colour change it has taken after maturation which will be a little lighter than the raw state and will look softer n fleshy.
A particular region of fruit experiencing intense exposure to the sun gets leathery patches on the surface or sometimes get rot this is known as sunscald. Uneven availability of magnesium and calcium in the soil can disturb the ripening of tomatoes.
Tips for Turning the Tomatoes Red
It is important for any variety of tomatoes to reach its mature green stage before it can ripen and change its colour to red because ripening before maturation cannot be forced even by modern technology. So whether it is a smaller variety of tomatoes or larger varieties of tomatoes, they must reach their maturation stage until they can ripe. Smaller varieties turn red faster than the larger ones.
- The temperature is an important factor; a chemical called ETHYLENE has triggered the coloration of the tomatoes. Ethylene is physically invisible, without any taste and odour.
- The production of Ethylene occurs when the tomato reaches its green maturation stage. To promote ripening of the fruit ethylene makes interaction with the tomatoes.
- Fast, consistent blowing winds can hinder the process of ripening because they carry away the ethylene gas with them slowing down the process.
- Many times the tomatoes fall or are knocked down due to frost or the wind or some eternal factor before even ripening.
- To protect these tomatoes, they can be covered with the paper bag before them ripe, but conditionally they should have reached maturation stage.
- This way the ethylene present in the tomatoes will be able to promote ripening of the tomatoes from inside the paper bag.
- Blossom rot is also a risk associated with tomato cultivation, so if you observe any slightest blossom rot in the planting make use of fertilisers to protect the tomatoes else they will turn all spoiled and flavourless.
- Another way of ripening green mature tomatoes is cutting the matter into two halves.
- The tomatoes will eventually ripen if the blade doesn’t splits the seeds present inside. Repeating it twice once from the top, and second from the lateral side may
- Observe the activity at regular intervals. Pluck away any clusters of flowers present on the plants bearing a ready tomato.
- The flower clusters divert all the plant energy in the fruit ripening. Remove the smaller tomatoes from the plant bearing larger tomatoes this will allow faster ripening of the larger tomatoes.
- Tomato plants keep producing new smaller leaves, plucking off these small sucker leaves will enhance the power of plants towards ripening of the mature fruits.
The ripening is not forceful when the fruit is still attached to the plant because this is the law of nature and it will take its own time to nourish itself. Subscribe to our blog if you love reading information about planting, growing, harvesting and storing vegetables, fruits and plants.