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Horticultura Brasileira

versão impressa ISSN 0102-0536


CARON, Vanessa C; TESSMER, Magda A; MELLO, Simone C  e  JACOMINO, Angelo P. Quality of mini tomatoes harvested at two maturity stages and kept chilled in three packages. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2013, vol.31, n.2, pp.279-286. ISSN 0102-0536.

The economic importance of small tomato fruits has been increased considerably due to the significant levels of lycopene and sugars. However, to achieve these compounds, the harvest is limited to a ripening stage demanded by consumers, which could reduce this marked period. Harvesting at an early stage and use of conservation techniques are desirable to amplify the marketing period. The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of small tomato fruits, Sweet Grape cultivar, harvested at two stages of ripening (light red and red), kept in three types of package (perforated PET, PEBD 30 μ and Vegetal Pack 18 μ) at a temperature of 20±1ºC and a relative humidity (RH) of 85±5% during 20 days. During this period, gas composition inside the packaging (O2, CO2 and ethylene), peel color, fresh mass loss, soluble solids content (SS), titratable acidity (TA), SS/TA and ascorbic acid levels were evaluated every 5 days. The lycopene content was determined at the beginning and the end of conservation. The experimental design was completely randomized in a split plot with four replications. Mass loss, peel color and gas composition were affected by both stage of harvest and package. The total SS/TA increased 4.74 during the conservation for two stages, regardless of package. The light red fruits reached after 20 days of conservation, mean levels of lycopene of 16.47 mg 100 g-1 and SS/TA of 18.43; on the other hand the red fruits achieved 15.30 mg 100 g-1 of lycopene and 16.80 of SS/TA. There was a mean increase of 8.4 mg 100 g-1 of lycopene in light red fruits, while in red fruits, the increase was 0.9 mg 100 g-1. The PEDB film was the best to maintain the fresh mass and peel color, therefore it was indicated for the maintenance of these attributes. The Vegetal Pack film showed no advantage in relation to the PET perforated packaging.

Palavras-chave : Solanum lycopersicum; maturity stage; conservation; modified atmosphere.

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