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Rutgers University Says They've Developed A Better Tomato

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A better tomato? You better believe it, according to a group of researchers at Rutgers University.

A juicier version of one of the Garden State's most iconic crops is now out, according to a team of researchers at Rutgers University.

The Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station in Cumberland County released its "Rutgers 250'' tomato seeds. The group said they are an improvement on the classic Jersey tomato.

"It's what you think of when you think back to the tomatoes you had when you were younger,'' horticulturist Tom Orton said.

The new version of the tomato has the right blend of sweetness and acidity, researchers said.

Peter Nitzsche, agricultural agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension, said researchers hope the new version mimics the original Rutgers tomato but with a "better plant and fruit quality.''

"The Rutgers 250 has that traditional Jersey tomato flavor with a little bit of bite and complexity,'' Nitzsche said.

The standard "Rutgers'' tomato has been tied to the Jersey tomato label since its release in 1934. The new batch was named Rutgers 250 as a nod to the university's 250th anniversary celebration this year.

A limited supply of approximately 2,000 seed packets is now on sale. Officials said a wider release of Rutgers 250 seeds is expected next spring.

Researchers are now working on a new version of Rutgers 250 seeds for large-scale commercial farmers, which should be ready for purchase by 2018.

The Rutgers variety isn't the only type of Jersey tomato developed by the University. The  Moreton F-1 tomato variety was first developed in 1953 and the Ramapo tomato was first offered to growers in the late 60s, with revamped varieties reintroduced to growers in the late 2000s, according to Rutgers' website.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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