Effects of Different Cultivation Practices and Postharvest Treatments on Tomato Quality
AbstractThe present investigation was aimed at evaluating the combined effect of pre- and postharvest treatments on the quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill). The preharvest treatments used were ComCat®, manure, NP and the combinations of ComCat® with the two forms of fertilizers and a control. These preharvest treatments were combined with three disinfection and two storage treatments. The tomatoes were periodically analyzed for weight loss, total soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity, ascorbic acid and marketability. Preharvest ComCat® and ComCat® + manure treatments improved the quality of tomato during storage. During the storage period, ComCat® reduced weight loss, better maintained the chemical compositions and marketability of the tomatoes. Manure treated tomatoes had higher ascorbic acid content during the storage period. Tomatoes stored using evaporative cooling system remained marketable up to the 28 days compered to a maximum of 16 days of ambient storage conditions. Storage at ambient conditions resulted in higher weight loss and rapid change in chemical composition that resulted in quality deterioration of tomatoes. Disinfecting treatments had significant (P < 0.01) effects on weight loss of tomatoes during storage. Two-way interactions between preharvest and storage conditions were significant (P < 0.05) in terms of the various physiological and chemical parameters of tomatoes. In general, the benefits of the combined effect of preharvest treatments and evaporatively cooled storage on tomatoes included reduction in the weight loss and total soluble solids, maintenance of higher titratable acidity, ascorbic acid and marketabilityof tomatoes.
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