Tomato fruits of cv. Caramba harvested at the pink ripening stage were cold stored for 4 and 7 days at 6 °C, then allowed to fully ripen at ambient temperature, and finally evaluated for eating quality, and compared with fruit fully ripened on the vine. In addition, fruits harvested at full ripeness were subjected to cold storage at 6 °C by a conventional or the innovative passive refrigeration PRS™ system for 2, 4, and 7 days, and then evaluated. Tomato quality evaluation included sensory, chemical (volatile compounds, sugars, and organic acids), and physical (flesh texture and skin colour) attributes. Fruit harvested at the pink stage, and then subjected to cold storage, when attained full external red colour showed less intense tomato odour, red ripe tomato odour, and flavour when compared to fruit fully ripened on the vine, and, at the same time, developed a perceptible mould off-odour. These differences were consistent with those observed in the levels of aroma compounds and fermentation metabolites. Main effects associated with cold storage of red ripe fruits by both conventional and passive refrigeration were increased skin toughness and decreased sourness. Passive refrigeration caused a more pronounced toughening of the skin, but no development off-odours were detected. Analysis of alteration of volatile synthesis confirmed recent findings on the molecular mechanism underlying chilling-induced loss of flavour in tomatoes.
Tomato fruit Freshness Refrigeration Short food supply chains Aroma
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access
This study was done within the frame of the FRESCO Project (“La freschezza dei prodotti ortofrutticoli”), financed by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Compliance with ethics requirements
All subjectes involved in the sensory study were preliminary informed about the nature of the research and consented to their informed participation; an informative note was collected from each panellist.
Kader AA, Allen Stevens M, Albright-Holton M, Morris LL, Algazi M (1977) Effect of fruit ripeness when picked on flavor and composition in fresh market tomatoes. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 102:724–731Google Scholar
Kader AA, Morris LL, Allen Stevens M, Albright-Holton M (1978) Composition and flavor quality of fresh market tomatoes as influenced by some postharvest handling procedures. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 103:6–13Google Scholar
Kavanagh EE, McGlasson WB (1986) Harvest maturity and acceptability of “Flora-Dade” tomatoes. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 111:78–82Google Scholar
Renquist AR, Reid JB (1998) Quality of processing tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) fruit from four bloom dates in relation to optimal harvest timing. N Zeal J Crop Hortic Sci 26:161–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sargent SA, Brecht JK, Wang Q, Olczyk T (2014) Handling Florida tomatoes—round and Roma tomato types. (SS-VEC-928). Series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh079. Accessed 05 Oct 2017
Auerswald H, Peters P, Brückner B et al (1999) Sensory analysis and instrumental measurements of short-term stored tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). Postharvest Biol Technol 15:323–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ghiraldi A (2008) Refrigerator for fresh products with temperature leveling means. US Patent Appl. 12/665, 515Google Scholar
Sargent SA, Moretti CL (2014) Tomato. In: Gross KC, Wang CY, Saltveit M (eds.) The commercial storage of fruits, vegetables, and florist and nursery stock, Draft—updated August 2014. U.S. Department of Agriculture, http://www.ba.ars.usda.gov/hb66/contents.html. Accessed 05 Oct 2017
Porat R, Fallik E (2008) Production of off-flavours in fruit and vegetables under fermentative conditions. In: Bruckner B, Wyllie SG (eds) Fruit and vegetable flavour. v. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, pp 150–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar