Effects of Pre-harvest Application of Hexanal Formulation on Losses and Quality of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill)
The study was conducted to determine the effects of field application of enhanced freshness formulation (EFF) on pre-harvest losses and tomato quality. The parameters assessed include pest defects on fruits, marketable and percentage non-marketable fruit, fruit firmness, and fruit weight. Three popular open pollinated varieties grown in Tanzania namely, Mwanga, Rio Grande, and Tanya were used. The experiment was laid out as Completely Randomized Design in a 4 x 4 x 3 factorial arrangement. Three factors, EFF concentrations, time of EFF application prior to the harvest, and tomato variety were evaluated. EFF concentrations of 0.01, 0.02, 0.04% m/v were tested. Untreated plots were included as control. The time of application was 7, 14, 21, and 28 days prior to the harvest. The results showed that pre-harvest application of EFF at 0.01 percent reduced percent non-marketable tomato fruit of Mwanga, Rio Grande, and Tanya cultivars by 28.99, 26.98 and 37.17 percent, respectively compared with the control. Moreover, pest defects were reduced by 29.45, 24.51, and 27.45 percent for Mwanga, Rio Grande, and Tanya, respectively over the control. Furthermore, fruit firmness was increased by 7.69 N/mm2, 6.33 N/mm2 and 5.98 N/mm2 compared with the control for tomato cv. Mwanga, Rio Grande, and Tanya, respectively.
Keyword: Hexanal, Non-marketable, Pest defects, Firmness, Tomato
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE SOKOINE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE, MOROGORO, TANZANIA