Heinz Has Made Ketchup From ‘Martian’ Tomatoes – And You Could Do The Same In The Future

Researchers headed by Andrew Palmer at the Florida Institute of Technology have stated that the astronauts on Mars will be able to grow their own tomatoes there.

This seems more practical as taking stuff from earth to mars creates a lot of logistical issues and growing things there is easier. This can be like the movie Martian where Matt Damon grows his own food on the planet.

Heinz company has brought forward ketchup made from the tomatoes grown under Martian conditions. It was made possible by working with Florida Tech. The greenhouse used for research was called the Red House and 30 tomato plants were used in the initial batch. These were planted in 7,800 lb. (3,538 kg) of Martian analog soil gathered from the Mojave Desert and illuminated with red LED lights. They were also grown in the atmosphere, temperature control, and regular irrigation that would be present on Mars.

Overall, 450 tomato plants were used, and it took 2000 hours for the study. However, the experiment gave out a poor output. It was then revealed that using troughs instead of pots could be a better option.

The tomatoes yielded were used to make the Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Marz Edition at its California research facility, one of which was flown to a height of 23 miles (37 km), where it was exposed to temperatures of -94 °F (-74 °C).

“What this project has done is look at long-term harvesting of food,” says Palmer. “Achieving a crop that is of a quality to become Heinz Tomato Ketchup was the dream result and we achieved it. Working with the Tomato Masters at Heinz has allowed us to see what the possibilities are for long-term food production beyond Earth. There is much we can learn by working with one of the biggest food companies worldwide.”

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