The stalk of tomatoes is dry and has a woody taste, it also contains the substance solanine. Isn’t it harmful to health? Tomatoes, like potatoes, belong to the nightshade family. Their stem, shoots, leaves and flowers contain the alkaloid solanine. It is also found in unripe fruit. “In this way, the plant protects itself effectively and naturally against insect damage and fungal diseases,” explains the German Nutrition Society (DGE).
Tomato stem: eat or withdraw?
However, the content at the base of the stem is very low. “Whoever ate it more often doesn’t have to worry,” says Antje Gahl from the DGE. It is nevertheless advisable to remove the green approach when processing. It still tastes woody and a little bitter. Unripe tomatoes contain between 9 and 32 mg of solanine per 100 g. In ripe tomatoes, the solanine value is 0-0.7 mg.
This is how solanine poisoning manifests itself
Too much solanine can be toxic, causing headaches, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, breathing problems and cramps. Caution is advised, especially with children. According to the DGE, symptoms of intoxication occur from a dose of approximately one milligram per kilogram of body weight. They are rare – and are more likely to be found in connection with potatoes.