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Tomato ketchup grown under martian conditions

Tomato ketchup grown under martian conditions

The Heinz company has launched Marz Edition ketchup made with tomatoes grown to replicate conditions on the surface of Mars.

In the movie Mars, a hungry Matt Damon planted potatoes on the red planet to survive. The famous food company Heinz on Monday launched the first bottle of “Marz Edition” ketchup, a sauce made with the same tomatoes found on Earth, but grown in surface conditions on Mars.

In addition to an intelligent advertising campaign, this product is the result of two years of research carried out by a group of astrobiologists from the Aldrin Space Institute of the Florida Institute of Technology.

The 14-member team from the Aldrin Space Institute, led by Dr. Andrew Palmer, has submitted the first of three articles describing the Heinz-led study for publication in a scientific journal. The institute, founded in 2015, was created to promote a permanent human presence on Mars and defend the scientific and technical heritage of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, one of the first humans to walk on the Moon.

According to the researchers, previous attempts to grow in conditions that mimic those on Mars are short-term plant growth studies, but this is the first to have achieved a long-term food harvest.

If these tomatoes can be grown on Mars, they could also grow in harsh places on Earth.

To demonstrate that tomatoes can be harvested on Mars, the plants were grown in a Mars simulator in which the soil was chemically modified with the composition of this planet’s rocks and dust, and under the same temperature and water conditions as In Mars. Experts analyzed soil conditions, selected seeds and applied agricultural techniques to ensure the end result had a recognizable taste.

The study has other applications. If these tomatoes can be grown on Mars, they could also grow in harsh places on Earth.

Ketchup Marz Edition is not for sale, but despite this it has passed the same brand quality tests as its other bottles. The martian tomato sauce batch was unveiled at Heinz’s Pittsburgh headquarters.

Photo: Heinz

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