Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira
Print version ISSN 0100-204X
PEREIRA, ADRIANA VARGAS and CALBO, ADONAI GIMENEZ. Elastic stresses and plastic deformations in 'Santa Clara' tomato fruits caused by package dependent compression. Pesq. agropec. bras. [online]. 2000, vol.35, n.12, pp. 2429-2436. ISSN 0100-204X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-204X2000001200014.
The objective of this work was to study the fruit compression behavior aiming to develop new tomato packages. Deformations caused by compression forces were observed inside packages and in individual 'Santa Clara' tomato fruit. The forces applied by a transparent acrylic lever to the fruit surface caused pericarp deformation and the flattened area was proportional to the force magnitude. The deformation was associated to the reduction in the gas volume (Vg), caused by expulsion of the air from the loculus cavity and reduction in the intercellular air volume of the pericarp. As ripening advanced, smaller fractions of the Vg reduced by the compressive force were restored after the stress was relieved. The lack of complete Vg restoration was an indication of permanent plastic deformations of the stressed cells. Vg regeneration (elastic recovery) was larger in green fruits than in the red ones. The ratio between the applied force and the flattened area (flattening pressure), which depends on cell turgidity, decreased during ripening. Fruit movements associated with its depth in the container were observed during storage in a transparent glass container (495 x 355 x 220 mm). The downward movement of the fruits was larger in the top layers because these movements seem to be driven by a summation of the deformation of many fruits in all layers.
Keywords : Lycopersicon esculentum; mechanical damage; porosity; storage losses.