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Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2012

Tomato boom goes beyond tastes as consumers look to trim waists


Tomatoes and tomato juice are selling well on hopes such foods can help combat metabolic syndrome.

The boom looks to last, given the growing popularity of tomatoes not only among middle-aged and senior citizens worried about body fat, but also younger women, analysts said.

The Omori store of Ito-Yokado Co. says it always stocks 20 different tomato varieties.

"We purchase and retail tomatoes both for raw consumption and cooking," said a salesclerk at the store.

More customers are buying yellow and orange varieties to add color to dishes, the clerk said.

The craze was heightened after a Kyoto University team in a joint research project announced in February that tomatoes contain substances capable of ameliorating abnormalities of lipid metabolism, such as fatty liver and high-level neutral fat.

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