EFFECT OF WAX APPLICATION ON THE QUALITY, LYCOPENE CONTENT AND CHILLING INJURY OF TOMATO FRUIT
Waxed and nonwaxed mature green tomato fruits were stored at 12C (nonchilled) or 5C (chilled) for 5, 10, 15 and 20 days before being transferred to 22C for 3, 6, 9 and 12 days, were evaluated for weight loss, chemical composition, skin color, chilling injury (CI) index and pigment content. Waxed fruits showed a delay in weight loss, color development and ripening. The sensitivity of tomato fruit to CI was reduced in waxed fruits, which showed a delay in the appearance of symptoms. A delay in chlorophyll degradation and lycopene synthesis was observed as a result of the use of wax and low temperature. Waxing of tomato fruits allowed their storage at temperatures below critical reducing CI sensitivity and maintaining quality giving more time for marketing. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
Nowadays, local tomato producers use wax on fruits as an everyday practice to carry postharvest fungicides and to improve brightness. They store tomato fruits at nonchilling temperature (12C) because lower temperatures would cause chilling injury and irregular ripening. In this way, it is interesting that waxing tomato fruits allow reducing their storage temperature, protecting them from chilling injury and maintaining their quality and correct color change and ripening; thereby producers and sellers have more days to position their fruits with no extra cost.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2009-12-01