The Q&A Archives: Seeds sprouting inside fruits

Question: When I started canning some of my Sprinter tomatoes, I noticed that the seeds inside the fruit were beginning to sprout. Some of them actually had green cotyledons already. Can I still preserve these tomatoes? Sarah Dilworth East Boothbay, ME

Answer: I'd recommend not eating fresh or canned tomatoes with sprouted seeds, says Wilfred Erhardt, vegetable specialist the University of Maine in Orono. The sprouts from nightshade family plants tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and so on are poisonous. However, if you remove the seeds you can use the pulp for fresh sauces, soups and salsas, Erhardt explains. The seeds could be sprouting because the tomatoes are overripe. Overriped, diseased and frost injured tomatoes tend to be deficient in the amountof acid needed to safely can, explains Nellie Hedstrom, Extension nutritionist at the University of Maine. You'll need to eat such fruits immediately or discard them.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Southern Comfort"