Tomato A Fruit Or A Vegetable?: When we hear the word “fruit,” most people automatically think of orange and tomato products. But the fact is, tomatoes can also be classified as vegetables, and yes, they are fruits.
Look no further, since the real answer is, tomatoes technically are both! While other fruits and veggies count separately as part of a recommended five-a-day diet, fruits themselves have many different qualities, depending on whether you’re talking to a chef, a botanist, or a food physiologist.
But these definitely will depend on whether or not you’re talking to a nutritionist, who by definition will use the more common culinary definition or a psychologist or dietician.
To simplify things, we’ll use a tomato as our example. The tomato is a fruit, so in this case, yes, it can be classified as a vegetable. The two main classifications are: the fleshy variety (which includes all the varieties with the skin intact) and the solid variety (which include all the interior parts).
Nowadays, many tomato growers and fruit marketers alike seem to be leaning towards the solid classification, which is probably because it’s simpler and easier to sell.
So let’s go over the key terms relating to the subject of tomatoes (or, for that matter, to fruits in general). The botanicals, or chemicals that constitute a plant, make up a large part of its nutritional value.
The most common chemical that is found in fruits and veggies is carotenoids, which are produced when a plant is under the influence of a natural predator, such as the American tomato, and is responsible for its red, bell-shaped skin.
Other common botanicals include lycopene, flavonoids, tocopherols, and other polyphenols.
Tomatoes are generally considered to be the fruit, as they are typically round and spiny. There are many varieties with irregular shapes, including oblong, bulbous, irregular and more. The shape and size of a tomato are usually based upon which variety is most commonly grown.
Categories of tomatoes
Most botanical tomatoes fall into two main categories – those that are organically grown (which usually refers to the majority of them) and those that are hybrid.
In both cases, they are part of a botanical family, which means they are related to other plants and can also be considered vegetables.
Hybrids may also be cross-bred from existing wild species; although not all hybrid varieties have been cross-bred.
Botanicals refer to those grown in cultivation and have been approved for use as fruits, vegetables, and herbs by the International Tomato Association.
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