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DNA PLANT INTRODUCES FRESH MARKET TOMATO AHEAD OF SCHEDULE

 CINNAMINSON, N.J., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- DNA Plant Technology Corporation (NASDAQ: DNAP) announced today the commercial launch of its premium quality, vine-ripened VineSweetTM tomato, with shipments of the product already taking place to select supermarkets in the Columbus, Ohio and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania regions.
 "VineSweetTM will be the first vine-ripened tomato with consistently great taste, hearty texture and deep red color to be available all year long throughout the United States, said Robert Serenbetz, president and chief executive officer of DNAP.
 The tomato, developed by DNAP through accelerated breeding techniques, is picked at the onset of ripening, known as the "breaker stage," just as the fruit has achieved a high level of juiciness and flavor is robust. Unlike standard commercial varieties, which are ripened artificially with ethylene, the tomato ripens naturally in transport.
 Because they also have been bred to be slightly firmer than standard varieties, the tomatoes can withstand the rigors of commercial distribution and be able to stay fresh for 10 to 14 days. A typical vine-ripened tomato will have a shelf life of 3 to 7 days.
 "We are particularly pleased that the production and market introduction has been smooth and that our entry into the market with this product is taking place months ahead of schedule," Mr. Serenbetz said. "This early entry will enable us to gain considerable knowledge of consumer reaction to our tomato during the spring, summer and fall months. Our people did a fantastic job of completing the scale-up in less than eight months, from our unveiling of the product last August."
 The all-natural tomato is currently being grown from proprietary seed on contract acreage in Florida, and in California and Mexico by the company's partner, Meyer Tomatoes. Contract acreage is also expected to be established in New Jersey for production during the summer.
 The VineSweetTM tomato is being marketed under the FreshWorld Farms banner. It is currently available at select Kroger and Big Bear Stores in Columbus, and select Acme and SuperFresh stores in the Philadelphia area. The company plans to expand distribution in the fall of 1993.
 The VineSweetTM tomato on the market today is the result of the company's extensive work in cellular biology, the same accelerated breeding technique used in the development of FreshWorld's VegiSnax and VegiSweetTM vegetables. New varieties are naturally developed by generating new plants from cells extracted from leaves or other plant tissue. As the cells regenerate themselves, some genetic variability is expressed. From these plants, scientists select those with the most desirable characteristics -- such as taste, color, the plant's fruit yield, or suitability to particular environmental conditions -- and introduce them into a growing and breeding program in the greenhouse and field.
 The commercialization of the VineSweetTM tomato represents the first phase of DNAP's two-track strategy to penetrate the $4 billion retail fresh tomato market. The second phase of the strategy, a version of the same great-tasting tomato genetically engineered to have an even longer shelf-life is planned for commercialization in late 1994 or early 1995 after regulatory review.
 DNAP is a leading agricultural biotechnology company, applying a spectrum of technologies to develop and commercialize plant-based products and environmental diagnostic products for consumer and industrial markets. The company has two major operating joint ventures -- FreshWorld in premium fruits and vegetables, and InterMountain Canola Company in special varieties of edible canola oil.
 -0- 4/14/93
 /CONTACT: Robert Serenbetz of DNA Plant Technology, 609-829-0110, or Fredric J. Spar of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655, for DNA Plant Technology/
 (DNAP)


CO: DNA Plant Technology Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: MTC AGR SU: PDT

KD -- NY019 -- 5572 04/14/93 09:39 EDT
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Date:Apr 14, 1993
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