Influencing Tomato Color

Tomatoes need to be bright and uniform in color, without green shoulders or immature green spots or blotches. The specific carotenoid, lycopene provides the tomato fruit with its red color. Higher levels of beta-carotene provide an orange color. Potassium and magnesium are particularly important for tomato color.

Color is particularly important for processed tomatoes and the fruit needs to be of a uniform, strong red, free of defects such as cracks and bruises. Color is measured using a range of methods, including spectrophotometry and colorimetry. Processors lay down a strict range of values. Processed crops must ripen evenly and at least 75% of the fruit has to be mature at harvest.

Crop Nutrition and Tomato Color


Low levels of potassium can lead to poor coloration in tomatoes and reduced lycopene synthesis.


Magnesium is particularly important in ensuring even ripening of well-formed fruit.


sebastian korob
Sebastian Korob
Regional Market Development Manager