The Maxim Tomato has a really simple effect when it is eaten by characters, it recovers a character's damage taken by 50%. This makes it somehow, an inferior version of the Heart Container, which reduces 100%. However, this also makes the Maxim Tomato a far more common than the Heart Container, this is more evident in SSF2 than in SSF, where all items appear at the same rate. Any damage taken during the healing will be subtracted from the final amount. Despite being an item that has to be "eaten" to take its effect, the Maxim Tomato is not considered part of the multiple Food items in SSF2, being classified as an item on its own and even originating from a different universe. For some reason, the Maxim Tomato is referred to as "Maximum Tomato" in SSF, it may be merely a mistake from game's creator, Cleod9.
The Maxim Tomato has been a recurring item in the Kirby games ever since the initial title, Kirby's Dream Land, for the original Game Boy. In all of its appearances, the Maxim Tomato is capable of recovering all of Kirby's health or any other character assisting him. Because of this, Maxim Tomatoes are usually found before boss battles or in hidden areas. While it is extremely obvious Maxim Tomatoes are more highly effective than regular tomatoes, its effectiveness may also be based on the fact tomatoes are Kirby's favorite food.