Can you eat a tomato with seeds sprouting inside? (5 Facts for you)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you eat a tomato with seeds sprouting inside? We will discuss the factors that encourage tomato sprouting and some ways to use tomatoes with seeds sprouting. 

Can you eat a tomato with seeds sprouting inside?

You can eat a tomato with seeds sprouting inside. The primary reason that the seeds inside the tomatoes sprout is due to over-ripening. 

Sprouting or germination could also be a result of exposure to high temperature or moisture, potassium deficiency, or over-fertilization with nitrogen.

Tomatoes that have started to germinate can have a bland or not-so-sweet taste. However, this is a disputed theory; some people find the taste of sprouted tomatoes to be acceptable. You can use the tomatoes for cooking instead of eating them.

A sprouted tomato is safe to eat unless you see spots, fuzz, or squishy tissues. If a pathogen has infected the tomatoes, then you can not eat the tomatoes. 

Some people can get ill by eating sprouted tomatoes if it is overripe. The best use you can put on an overripe tomato is to plant it and let it grow. 

Why do tomatoes seeds sprout?

As a fruit ripens, a hormone called abscisic acid causes the fruit to develop until it becomes overripe. After which, the release of abscisic acid recedes because the tomato has reached its peak ripeness. 

The seeds then change from dormancy to an active state. As the seeds become active, they start growing sprouts called vivipary. The vivipary escapes the seeds and seeks the nutritious and moist environment of tomato for sustenance. 

The word vivipary means live birth, and even if you do not cut the tomato, the sprouts make their way out of the fruit and poke through the skin.

How to prevent sprouting inside tomatoes?

After you harvest the tomatoes, store them at room temperature. Prevent from sunlight but allow sufficient air circulation to help them ripen and stay healthy.

Keep the tomatoes in a cool place instead of warm to prevent sprouting. Do not keep the tomatoes in the refrigerator.

When you buy or harvest tomatoes, use them as soon as possible. If you let the tomatoes age, the chance of sprouting increases. If you do not intend to cook or eat them soon enough, you can make tomato paste, pizza, or pasta sauce.

Grow your tomatoes

If you grow your tomatoes, the harvesting time is in your control. Harvest the tomatoes before the cold weather comes to ensure that the seeds stay dormant for as long as they can.

Buy from a farmers’ market

Farmers and CSA grow tomatoes indoors. The hydroponic farmers can grow tomatoes all year round and prevent precocious sprouting.

How to grow a sprouted tomato?

You can plant the new plant that protrudes from the seeds in a pot. If you take care of the plant, it flourishes, then it could grow into a tomato plant. However, the new tomato will not be a clone of the tomato it grew from. If the seeds of the tomato were of a hybrid plant, it was pollinated by a tomato flower that possessed different genes than the parent plant. 

To grow your tomatoes, follow the instruction given below:

  1. Isolate the seeds from the tomato.
  2. Leave the seeds in the tomato juice for 4 to 5 days until they take up a white and moldy look.
  3. Take the seeds out and put them in a container filled with water.
  4. Drain the water and repeat the step until the seeds appear clean.
  5. Lay the seeds on a paper towel and let them dry.
  6. Plant the seeds. 

To plant the young seedling, choose a spot with adequate sunlight. Transplant the seeds in soil and water them regularly. 

Some reasons to regularly eat tomatoes:

  • Tomatoes have potassium, folate, vitamins B, K, and E. Tomatoes also have multiple varieties of antioxidants that protect the heart, eyes, and skin.
  • The antioxidant called lycopene protects cells from free radicals and keeps you safe from lung, stomach, or prostate cancer. It also lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and prevents strokes.
  • Vitamin K is crucial for bone health and the healing of wounds. It clots blood in case of an injury and speeds up the healing process.
  • Lycopene benefits oral health by strengthening the gums and protecting you from gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • A couple of other antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin work wonder for the eyes by protecting them from macular damage and blue light.
  • Tomatoes also have high fiber. Fiber prevents constipation, lowers cholesterol, and helps to manage diabetes.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you eat a tomato with seeds sprouting inside? We discussed the factors that encourage tomato sprouting and some ways to use tomatoes with seeds sprouting. 

Citations

https://news.extension.uconn.edu/2014/06/04/seeds-sprouting-inside-a-tomato/#
https://natashaskitchen.com/how-to-plant-tomatoes-sprouting-seeds/
https://hoke.ces.ncsu.edu/2018/07/why-are-tomato-seeds-sprouting-inside-of-my-tomato/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.