Effect of Hot Water Treatment (HWT) and Storage Temperature Conditions on Mature Green Tomato



Sensitivity of tomato fruit to low temperature and chilling injury limits the storage, handling and marketability of the fruit. As a recommended postharvest treatment, effects of hot water treatment (HWT) on reducing chilling injury and quality traits, variation of tomato fruits during storage life were investigated. Tomato fruits were harvested at mature green stage. They were treated by hot water at 45 ?C for 15 min, then placed at three storage temperature conditions including 5 ?C, 13 ?C, and at a Simulated Condition (SC) of the interval between harvest and consumption by the consumer. Storage period was 43 days. Fruit color, lycopene, weight loss, firmness, enzyme activity of polygalacturonase (PG), ascorbic acid and Chilling Injury (CI) were assessed and evaluated during the experiment. While storage of mature green tomatoes at 13 ?C developed normal ripening, storage at 5 ?C and during SC disturbed the normal ripening process. HWT caused delay in surface color development to some extent, resulting in reduction in weight loss and enzyme activity as well as in enhancing ascorbic acid and lycopene contents. It also had a significant effect on reduction of CI in mature green tomatoes. Based on the results, it can be concluded that in tomato as a climacteric fruit, HWT and temperature condition of storage exert significant effects on its storage and shelf life. This study confirmed that 13 ?C is the optimum temperature for maintenance while HWT is a proper postharvest treatment as regards tomato fruit.