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A pizza and fresh Roma tomatoes

ARS in Your Pizza

Great pizza needs great ingredients! Did you know that two of those were developed by ARS?

The oblong-shaped Roma (or "plum") tomato was developed in 1955 in Beltsville, MD, by ARS scientist William Porte. It was bred from the San Marzano and Red Top varieties to resist wilt and pests and grow well in different climates. But it also has a heavy, fleshy outer wall that makes it perfect for making sauces for pizza and spaghetti. And it contains lycopene, a nutrient with anticancer properties.

Mozzarella cheese is gooey and tasty topping for pizza, but it adds fat. ARS scientists in Wyndmoor, PA, invented a technology for making lower-fat mozzarella cheese that retains its stretchy, meltable texture and delicious flavor. They did this by modifying the network of the milk protein casein. The cheese has been widely used in school lunch programs since 1995.

Read Celebrating 15 Years of a Healthy School Lunch Option.