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Why does watering a tomato plant with sugar water produce bland and pulpy fruit?
- Stacey Kauffman
Not really being a plant biologist, I'm not totally sure about the answer to your question. But here is my best guess...
are a lot of different forms of sugar. When a food tastes sugary, what
you are probably tasting is sugar in the form of glucose (also known as
dextrose), sucrose, or fructose. But it's very hard for a plant or an
animal to store these sugars. Animals convert them into a type of sugar
called glycogen. Plants convert them into starch, which is actually
just another kind of sugar.
But if you've ever tasted starch
(for instance, corn starch), you know that it doesn't taste very sweet.
It's actually pretty bland. So if I had to make a guess, I'd say that
when you give the tomato plant sugar water, it takes in the sweet
sugars from the water and converts them into lots of starch. This
starch is very useful for the tomato plant if it needs energy later.
But it tastes bland and pulpy to us.
(republished on 07/18/06)
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