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DNAP UNVEILS VINESWEETTM TOMATO AND STRATEGY TO ENTER FRESH TOMATO MARKET

 DNAP UNVEILS VINESWEETTM TOMATO AND
 STRATEGY TO ENTER FRESH TOMATO MARKET
 CINNAMINSON, N.J., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- DNA Plant Technology Corporation (NASDAQ: DNAP) said today it will begin test marketing its new VINESWEETTM tomato in 1993. DNAP outlined its commercialization plans at a public tasting of its new tomato at the company's annual "Farm Day" in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.
 The VINESWEETTM tomato, developed by DNAP through the cellular biology technique of somaclonal variation, offers the optimum balance sought by consumers between sweetness and "tomato bite" according to extensive surveys conducted by DNAP. It can be picked at the onset of ripening, known as the "breaker stage," just as the fruit has achieved a high level of juiciness and flavor. Unlike standard commercial varieties which are ripened artificially with ethylene, the VINESWEETTM tomato will ripen naturally in transport. Because they are slightly firmer than standard varieties, VINESWEETTM tomatoes can withstand the rigors of commercial distribution and will have a shelf life of 7 to 10 days. A typical vine-ripened tomato will have a shelf life of 3 to 4 days.
 DNAP has been growing VINESWEETTM tomatoes in eight different areas in Florida, California, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and over the next few months will be making arrangements with current and additional growers to scale-up production of a consistently superior product.
 Before the end of September, 1992, DNAP will have completed a four- city test of consumers aimed at determining reactions to marketing concepts, the taste of VINESWEETTM tomatoes, and other factors related to purchasing intent. In 1993, DNAP will commence a six month-long market test of the product, which will be fully supported by an advertising and promotional campaign. DNAP expects that this product will benefit from its experience in the market through the VegiSnax and VegiSweetTM vegetables, as well as its management of each element of production of other added value plant-based products.
 DNAP's VINESWEETTM tomato represents the first phase of its two- pronged strategy to penetrate the $4 billion retail fresh tomato market as well as other branded produce markets. The product is the result of the company's extensive work in cellular biology, which has also enabled the development of VegiSnax carrots and celery, bite-sized, sweet peppers and other value-added VegiSweetTM bulk produce. VegiSnax and VegiSweetTM vegetables are being marketed in selected cities by DNAP's joint venture with Du Pont, FreshWorld, to convenience stores, supermarkets, and McDonald's restaurants.
 With somaclonal variation technology, new varieties are developed by generating new plants from cells extracted from leaves or other plant tissue. As the plants are regenerated, some genetic variability is expressed. From these plants, scientists select those with the most desirable characteristics and introduce them into a growing and breeding program in the greenhouse and field.
 Phase two of the strategy will result in a second generation of tomatoes developed through recombinant DNA (genetic engineering) techniques, including DNAP's patented TranswitchTM gene suppression method. The TranswitchTM technique is being used to further enhance shelf life and flavor by inhibiting the expression of the ACC Synthase gene which leads to the production of ethylene and the onset of ripening.
 DNAP is a leading agricultural biotechnology company, applying a spectrum of technologies to develop and commercialize plant-based products, agricultural and environmental diagnostics, and ice modification products and processes for the consumer and industrial markets. The company has two major operating joint ventures, FreshWorld and InterMountain Canola Company.
 -0- 8/26/92
 /CONTACT: Robert Serenbetz, president and chief executive officer of DNA Plant Technology Corporation, 609-829-0110, or Frederic J. Spar of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2555, for DNA Plant Technology Corporation/
 (DNAP) CO: DNA Plant Technology Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU: PDT


DC -- NY017 -- 3371 08/26/92 10:20 EDT
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Date:Aug 26, 1992
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