Print version ISSN 0102-0536
FERREIRA, M.D. et al. Evaluation of packing lines and classification standards for fresh market tomatoes in Brazil. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2005, vol.23, n.4, pp. 940-944. ISSN 0102-0536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-05362005000400016.
Currently, are available in the Brazilian market some alternatives of packing and standardization equipment for fresh market tomatoes. The most common ones classify the fruits through their size and weight. Five packing line units for classifying fresh market tomatoes, located in the Campinas region, Brazil, were evaluated. The type of equipment was characterized; the involved steps in the process, and the working functions were analysed. A comparison was done between the classification recommended by the Brazilian Program for the Modernization of the Horticulture (developed by the CEAGESP), and those used in the different packing houses evalkuated. The classification was carried out measuring the transversal diameter of the fruits with a digital paquimeter. A large variation was observed (99%) in the length of the packing lines. In the washing step the number of brushes varied from 4 to 19 nylon brushes. In the drying step, the number of foam brushes (polyurethane-polyether) ranged from 5 to 15, and from 6 to 64 brushes of animal origin (horse poil mainly) in the second drying and polishing step. For bigger classification standards a lack of fulfillment of the norms was observed. From the 14 samples taken in the 5 packing houses, only 57.2% worked accordingly to the recommended norms.
Keywords : Lycopersicon esculentum Mill; brushes; packing houses; standards.