After picking your first harvest of tomatoes, you’re excited to make some salad with fresh tomatoes straight from the garden. Sadly, your good-looking tomatoes have hard white spots in the flesh. With all the eagerness to taste your homegrown tomatoes, you ask yourself one question: Is a tomato white inside ok to eat?
Yes, a tomato white inside is ok to eat. Simply cut off the white part and eat the rest. Nonetheless, even the white part is edible but has substandard taste and texture with very low nutritional value, if any. Unfavorable environmental conditions are the primary cause of this problem.
We’ll explore the mystery behind the partial whitening of the tomato flesh and its edibility to provide all you need to know. Let’s get started.
What Is The White In Tomatoes?
The white in tomatoes is the spot of the tough white matter right beneath the tomatoes’ skin. Various factors cause the hard tissues. Luckily, remedies depend on each cause.
What Causes White Hard Spots In Tomatoes?
The various causes of hard white spots in tomatoes include the following:
- Stink bug
- Other pests
- Nutrients deficiency
- High temperatures/cotton spot
- Bacterial canker
- Tomato type
Let’s see how the above factors cause the white in the tomato and how you can control each. Keep reading!
1. Stink bug
Stink bugs are juice lovers, searching for it from juicy fruits like tomatoes. In the process, they inject toxins into the fruit, causing non-development of the affected area right from the skin to the furthest this toxin can reach. As a result, the tomato becomes deformed and has some hard white spots.
You can control stink bugs by:
- Hand-picking and putting them into soapy water. These insects usually gather under leaves and in fruit clusters to feed. Hence, you can easily collect and drown them.
- Spraying them with homemade pest control spray. Water and mineral oil makes an ideal combination to control stink bugs. Spray your plants thoroughly and after sunset. Oil-made sprays can burn your plants if sprayed in the sun.
- Applying organic pesticides. This control method should come as a last resort. If the first two fail to work in your case, use the appropriate insecticide to control the stink bugs.
2. Other Pests
Apart from stink bugs, other pests attack your tomatoes as they scramble for the juicy part of this fruit. They suck the liquid using their needle-like mouths, and once the tomato is deprived of its juice, the pierced part turns white and hard.
These insects include thrips, aphids, leafhoppers, whiteflies, beetles, lead-footed, and spider mites.
The best control method for pest infestations is the application of pesticides. Use the most effective insecticide depending on the pests attacking your tomatoes.
3. Nutrients Deficiency
The lack of an adequate supply of nutrients is the other cause of tomato whitening. These nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. An insufficient supply of these nutrients also causes other tomato problems, such as blossom end rot.
Regularly apply balanced organic fertilizers to your tomatoes to ensure an adequate supply of nutrients. Avoid too much nitrogen and increase phosphorous for maximum productivity.
4. Cotton Spot
A continuously hot and humid environment is the primary cause of cotton spots on tomatoes. Your plants are prone to this condition at the prime of their development, where the spots are visible on the tomato skin.
The ideal remedy for this problem is ensuring that your soil is adequately drained. You can also increase calcium levels in your soil by adding bone meals and eggshells. These soil boosters also increase your plants’ disease resistance.
When ripening tomatoes are exposed to too much sun, the high temperatures cause white patches development in them. The spots appear on the skin and extend to the farthest the sun rays can reach. Disease or pest-infested plants are prone to this problem. Besides the change in appearance, the taste also changes once the tomato starts rotting.
Luckily, you can prevent this tomato problem by providing shade or mulching your tomatoes, cleaning and sanitizing garden tools, and using soil drenching instead of foliar watering.
If your tomatoes are already affected, harvest them early and allow them to ripen indoors. That keeps away potential diseases.
6. Bacterial Canker
This condition is similar to stink bug white spots. Hence, you must use a magnifying glass to identify the dark circle around the spot. The cause of this disease is bacterial pathogens, where warm temperatures (75 to 90°F) and high moisture are significant catalysts of its development and spread. Seeds and seedlings can transfer the pathogens to far distances.
You can avoid this problem by getting seeds from a reputable supplier, rotating your plants in the garden, properly spacing, watering at the plant’s base and not on the foliage, and sterilizing your garden tools.
7. Tomato Type
Some tomato varieties have low disease resistance capability. Such types are prone to white spots too. If your planting zone’s conditions are a significant booster of these spots, you can try more disease-resistant tomato varieties. You could also consider supplying your soil with adequate nutrients to increase its disease resistance.
Tomato white inside Ok to eat: Is It Safe To Eat Tomatoes With White Spots Inside?
Just like it’s not dangerous to eat tomatoes when tomato leaves look burnt, It’s safe to eat tomatoes with white spots inside. You only need to get rid of the white part and eat the rest. Nevertheless, there are no safety issues with the white area, but its taste is unpleasant, and its nutritional value is insignificant.
Tips On How To Eat Tomato White Inside
Here, we’ll look at how you should handle the white spot problem depending on the cause. Read on.
- Pests infestation: If stink bugs or any other pest has attacked your tomatoes, the affected part becomes hard. Simply cut it off and use the rest of the tomato raw or cooked, or even can it for storage.
- Fungal infections: Eating the infected tomatoes is okay, but you should be keen to observe any allergic reaction that could result from the same. Some people can be reactive to fungal diseases such as black mold.
- Bacterial canker damage: The affected tomatoes are safe to eat in the cooked form. Nonetheless, such tomatoes aren’t suitable for the application of preservatives or canning because their acidity is high.
- Sunscald effect: Since the sun rays are the major trigger of this problem, you should harvest your tomatoes early to ripen indoors and reduce the risk of disease development.
How Can I Tell That A Tomato Isn’t Safe To Eat?
There are many indicators that a tomato isn’t safe to eat, including the following:
- Skin discoloration or unusual red color.
- Mold spots, cracks, or any surface damage.
- Tomato sinking upon a slight grip.
- Any leakage of its liquid.
- Unpleasant odor, especially around the stem.
- Fruit flies on your tomatoes.
Eating spoilt tomatoes is risky to your health. They’re a significant cause of food poisoning that can make you sick due to harmful bacteria. Therefore you should ensure that your tomatoes are free from the above signs before consuming them.
Can You Stop White Spots On Tomatoes?
Yes, you can stop white spots on tomatoes. However, the remedy depends on the triggering factor. All you need is to identify the cause of your tomato white spots and apply the most appropriate control method. That can include early harvesting for indoor ripening and getting rid of harmful pests by spraying or handpicking.
Is Tomato Mold Dangerous?
Yes, tomato mold is dangerous. Some fruit molds have the potential to make you sick. Therefore, you should eliminate any affected tomatoes as you may be unable to differentiate the harmful from the harmless.
Will Vinegar Kill Bugs On Tomato Plants?
No, vinegar won’t kill bugs on tomato plants. Nonetheless, its smell is an effective insect repellant, driving away pests from your plants. Vinegar is a readily available pest spray ingredient, in addition to being inexpensive and organic.
How Do You Get Rid Of Bacterial Cankers On Tomato Plants?
You get rid of Bacterial Cankers on tomato plants by treating your saved seeds. Soak them in a germicidal bleach-water solution for 1 minute in the ratio of 1:4, respectively. Alternatively, you can buy bacterial canker plant-certified pathogen-free seeds from a trusted supplier.
What Does Sunscald Look Like On Tomatoes?
Sunscald looks like white or yellow spots on tomatoes. The spots appear on the upper part or side of the fruit facing the sun. The affected part becomes blistered and eventually turns thin and creased.
Don’t be surprised when you see people eat a whole tomato. Tomato white inside is ok to eat! The white spots on your tomatoes are harmless to your body. However, consuming them adds little or no nutritional value to you; hence, you can just cut them off and enjoy the rest of the fruit.
The major causes of white sections on your tomatoes include pests piercing, lack of enough nutrients, cotton spots, sunscald, bacterial canker, and the tomato variety’s inability to resist diseases.
Thankfully, this article has provided preventive and curative measures for these causes of tomato whitening. Additionally, we’ve given your tips on how you can judge your tomatoes’ edibility.