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Beginner Gardening: Low Acid Tomatoes?

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 7, Views: 96
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Brookfield, CT
(Zone 5b)

March 14, 2009
10:24 PM

Post #6267234

Can anyone give me an idea of which tomatoes are 'low acid?' I had a customer come to the market last spring looking for low acid tomatoes to plant, and I had no idea what to suggest. She named 'Early Girl' as one, but we were out at the time. This is mostly to satiate my curiosity, this question has been bugging me for a year. I'm not much of a tomato gardener (not yet anyway. . .) so I have absolutely no idea.


Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 14, 2009
10:58 PM

Post #6267356

Why don't you ask over in the Tomato forum. Some real smart people there.
Brookfield, CT
(Zone 5b)

March 14, 2009
11:04 PM

Post #6267390

I don't have access to the tomato forum because I'm not a paid subscriber. Would anyone be willing to ask for me?
Houston, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 15, 2009
1:05 AM

Post #6267861

Jet Star is one of the few tomatoes which is actually lower in acid, to the point of getting a caution about needing to add lemon juice or other acid when canning.

Jet Star is also widely available in seeds and as a transplant.

Some folks say they want a low acid tomato but just want one with a less pronounced flavor or "bite" in which case there are dozens of modern hybrids which have hardly any flavor at all. ;)

This message was edited Mar 14, 2009 8:05 PM
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

March 16, 2009
12:15 AM

Post #6272678

Some people want them because they are prone to ulcers (like me). But I just can't give up the flavor--I still sneak in some "real tomatoes" every so often--I just have to be careful not to eat too many :-}
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 16, 2009
5:42 AM

Post #6273970

White and then yellows are said to be lower in acid than reds.
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)

March 16, 2009
12:15 PM

Post #6274434

They are not necessarily less acid, just have more sugars which mask the acidity.
From Texas A&M (TAMU) "A. There are some varieties that are slightly less acidic than others, but this difference is so slight that there is no real difference in taste or in how the tomatoes should be processed. Some yellow-fruited types are slightly less acidic than the normal red varieties, but not enough to make any difference. Research conducted by the USDA indicates that all varieties available to the home gardener are safe for water bath processing as long as good quality fruit are used. Flavor differences which exist between varieties are not because of differences in acid content, but balances of the sugar to acid ratio.
From the University of Minnesota: "Researchers at USDA and at the University of Minnesota have found that most underripe to ripe, cooked tomatoes have a pH below 4.6. Unfortunately, a few varieties may have a pH above or close to 4.6. These include Ace, Ace 55VF, Beefmaster Hybrid, Big Early Hybrid, Big Girl, Big Set, Burpee VF Hybrid, Cal Ace, Delicious, Fireball, Garden State, Royal Chico, and San Marzano. Some of these are grown for commercial purposes and are not found in home gardens. However, safely canning these varieties requires additional acid for water bath processing or a pressure canning process similar to low acid vegetables.

Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

March 16, 2009
3:12 PM

Post #6275099

Thanks Farmerdill--I won't feel guilty anymore when I eat my favorite home-grown tomatoes!

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