From producer to consumer: greenhouse tomato quality as affected by variety, maturity stage at harvest, transport conditions, and supermarket storage.
Sommaire de l'article
Possible causes for differences in quality traits at the time of buying were studied in two widely different red tomato types. Three maturity stages were harvested from commercial greenhouses and transferred immediately to controlled environments simulating different storage, transport, and supermarket conditions. Results show significant differences in development of color, fruit firmness, contents of soluble solids (SSC), titratable acids (TTA), phenolics, and carotenoids from harvest to sale, as related to postharvest conditions. Fruit firmness, SSC, and TTA of vine-ripened red cherry tomatoes was 30, 55 and 11% higher than for those harvested at breakers and ripened to red. Temperature, light, UVC radiation, or ethylene during 4 days transport affected tomato quality traits, and differences persisted during 3 weeks of supermarket storage. Ethylene exposure gave a 3.7-fold increase in lycopene content in cherry tomatoes, whereas UVC hormesis revealed a 6-fold increase compared with the control. Results can be used to update recommendations concerning optimal handling.