The tomato is native to South America. Genetic evidence shows the progenitors of tomatoes were herbaceous green plants with small green fruit and a center of diversity in the highlands of Peru.One species, Solanum lycopersicum, was transported to Mexico, where it was grown and consumed by Mesoamerican civilizations. The exact date of domestication is not known. The first domesticated tomato may have been a little yellow fruit, similar in size to a cherry tomato, grown by the Aztecs of Central Mexico.
The amount of 4,421,734 hectares of the world production of tomatoes are 120 million tons. WIth the production of 8 tons milyoner we stand at third place after China and America. WIth 220 000 hectares, we are ranked 12th Place among the other countries that grow tomatoes. Around 1900 began the cultivation of tomatoes in Adana in our country.
48-52 % of our greenhouse production consists of tomatoes. The largest area of the production of tomatoes in the greenhouse, has Antalya. The tomato is one of the vegetables in our country, both in their own consumption and for export is in high position. Some of the most important countries for export are Russia, Romania, Yugoslavia, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Germany.
Tomatoes are rich in calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Potassium content of tomatoes is very high. They are rich in beta carotene which is very useful for the eyes. They are also good source of vitamin C. Redness of the tomatoes is due to a pigment lycopene and the phytochemicals carotenoids. Lycopene is an antioxidant that has ability to fight cancer. During the ripening stage the chlorophyll of the green tomatoes is converted to limonene and thus the tomatoes are turned red. Tomatoes have more than 200 volatile compounds. Tomatoes are low calorie fruit which provides adequate nutrients. Eating Tomatoes reduces Risk of many Cancers.