Effect of maturity stages, variety and storage environment on sugar content of tomato stored in multiple pads evaporative cooler
The effect of cultivar, maturity stage and multi-pads evaporative cooling on sugar content, weight loss and marketability of tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) was investigated. The experiment was conducted by combining cultivars, maturity stages and storage conditions in randomized complete block design. At harvest, Marglobe harvested at light-red stage showed higher total sugar and reducing sugar content compared to those in Roma VF, whereas the lowest total sugar and reducing sugar content were recorded in Roma VF harvested in mature-green stage. The overall total sugar and reducing sugar content of tomato fruit was maintained better in Roma VF harvested at mature-green and turning stages than Marglobe harvested at mature-green stage when stored under multiple pads evaporative cooling conditions. The cooling system maintained higher concentration of sugars, lower water loss and higher marketability during storage when compared to storage under ambient conditions. This study clearly demonstrated the importance of integrated agro-technology of combining cultivar, maturity stage and storage environment in shelf life improvement of tomato by reducing the rate of ripening and utilization of sugar, reducing water loss and maintaining marketability.
Key words: Tomato, maturity stage, cultivar, evaporative cooling, storage, reducing sugar, total sugar.