A Revolution In The Sandwich World

"Intense" tomatoes claim to lose much less juice than other brands of the fruit.

ByABC News
April 28, 2009, 10:16 AM

LONDON, April 28, 2009 -- Could this be the end of soggy lunchtime sandwiches?

Sandwich lovers will be pleased to hear that a supermarket chain in Britain could have the answer to packed lunch misery as the world's first "leak-proof" tomatoes hit the shelves. "Intense" tomatoes, developed at Nunhems in Haelen, The Netherlands, claim to lose much less juice than other variants of the fruit.

"It's the best thing to hit the sandwich world since sliced bread," tomato buyer Emma Pettitt, who works for the UK food store chain Tesco's, told ABCnews.com.

The tomatoes went on sale Monday at . They'll set you back $1.45 for a package of four and you even don't have to worry about the mess they make when sliced and diced, said Pettitt.

"As we all know tomatoes can be tricky to chop and a squirt of juice can easily end up on the kitchen wall or over your shirt. The non-leaking variety will stop that problem but without the tomato losing any of its taste."

Now for the science behind it. The growers at Nunhems, part of the giant conglomerate Bayer AG, say that standard tomatoes lose 8 percent of their weight after slicing and a further 12 percent seeps into the bread only an hour later. With the new variety and its much denser structure, less than 1 percent of the moisture is lost when the tomato is sliced and only 3 percent of the juice soaks the bread 12 hours after the sandwich is made.

As part of a Dutch tomato seed breeding program, the breakthrough came after trials using more than 100 varieties.

Was it worth the effort? James Mulholland, 25, from East London told ABCnews.com he would definitely buy the new brand. "I love BLT's and I hate it when my sandwich falls apart when I'm walking or at lunch."

Katie Godfrey, a researcher in Central London, think it's a great idea, "I think with the credit crunch we've all been trying to make more of my own lunches so this is great news as now I can make more without them going soggy."

Intense tomatoes are currently being grown in Mediterranean region to serve the UK and Europe markets. The tomatoes are also being introduced in Mexico to supply the United States market, according to the company.