Over the past few decades, commercially grown tomatoes have gradually lost almost all their flavor. And scientists can now prove that’s no accident.

An international team of researchers studied nearly 400 varieties of tomatoes, both modern and heirloom, to understand what’s changed inside the world’s most popular fruit.

They discovered that decades of breeding tomatoes to make them grow larger and more resistant to disease has depleted many of the chemicals that gave tomatoes their distinctive taste and aroma, which combine to form their flavor. The scientists were able to identify specific genetic changes as the culprits.

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