Cosmic Condiments

Heinz teams up with Florida Tech to grow tomatoes in space

Cate Dudley, Staff Reporter

Heinz tomato ketchup is infamous and a staple in many households worldwide.

The Heinz company, infamous for their ketchup, has recently collaborated with Florida Tech on a project to grow tomatoes in Mars-like conditions. 

Associate professor Andrew Palmer and 14 students grew 450 tomato plants in total. The plants were grown in regolith, a form of rock and dust that is found on Mars and planets like it. In attempts to replicate the Martian regolith, the students used soil from the Mojave desert.

The tomatoes grown were held to food-grade standard, and all factors of the project were documented, from fertilizer use to temperature.

This two year journey was brought into the public eye on Monday, Nov. 15, when the singular bottle produced by this project was unveiled. 

While Heinz has no plans to release this ketchup to the public in the near future, the project has major implications for the future of crops in space. The usual focus on short term food growth in space was turned on its head by this two-year-long experiment.