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Integrated agrotechnology with preharvest ComCat<sup>®</sup> treatment, modified atmosphere packaging and forced ventilation evaporative cooling of tomatoes

TS Workneh
G Osthoff
MS Steyn


An evaporative cooler (EC) unit, which allowed an average drop of 11.5°C in temperature and a rise of 43.93% in relative humidity relative to environmental conditions was used to store tomatoes. The
quality of tomatoes stored in this cooler were maintained better with more than 70% shelf life extension compared to tomatoes stored at ambient conditions. Preharvest ComCat® treated tomatoes contained
lower TSS, reducing sugars and total sugars at harvest, and showed better keeping quality in terms of PWL, juice content, TSS and sugars, compared to untreated controls. No distinct effect of ComCat®
treatment on microbial populations was found. Disinfecting with chlorinated water controlled total aerobic bacteria, moulds and yeasts during storage in the EC. MAP and EC temperatures helped to
control weight loss, improve juice content, total aerobic bacteria, moulds and yeasts and resulted in lower pH of stored tomatoes. Microperforated MAP film prevented condensation inside packages and
resulted in better marketability when combined with EC. The benefits from the combined effect of pre- and postharvest treatment on tomatoes include: reduction of PWL and loss of fruit juice, better keeping quality in terms of TSS, pH, non-reducing sugar content, total sugar content, microbiological quality, and marketability.

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eISSN: 1684-5315