Physicochemical characteristics of tomato fruits for industrial processing according to the irrigation management1 1 Research developed at Morrinhos, Goiás, Brazil

Características físico-químicas de frutos de tomateiro para processamento industrial em função de manejos da irrigação

Cícero J. da Silva César A. da Silva Rhayf E. Rodrigues Nadson de C. Pontes Luiz F. M. da Silva Clarice A. Megguer About the authors

HIGHLIGHTS:

Growing processing tomato under water deficit promotes greater water productivity for the fruit pulp yield.

Irrigation deficit before harvesting reduces tomato yield and does not increase pulp yield.

High irrigation levels can reduce the yield of processing tomatoes in Brazilian Cerrado.

ABSTRACT

This study was carried out to evaluate the postharvest quality of processing tomato fruits, submitted to irrigation depths and periods of suspension of irrigation before harvest, irrigated by subsurface drip in Cerrado areas in the southern region of Goiás State, Brazil, in 2015 and 2016. The experiments were established under a randomized block design, with four replicates arranged in a split plots scheme. In the plots, five irrigation depths were evaluated (50, 75, 100, 125 and 150% of the crop evapotranspiration) and, in the subplots, five periods of suspension of irrigation (0, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days before harvest) were assessed. After harvesting, which occurred at 125 days after transplanting the seedlings, the average fruit mass, fruit shape (longitudinal and transversal diameter), total soluble solids content, titratable acidity, pH, firmness, pulp yield, and water productivity for pulp yield were evaluated. Irrigation deficit, with the replacement of less than 100% of crop evapotranspiration, allowed to save water but significantly reduced the size of the fruits and the production of concentrated pulp. The suspension of irrigation before harvest decreased pulp yield and fruit size. The highest water productivity for pulp yield of tomato fruits occurred under water deficit with 50% of crop evapotranspiration. Irrigation depths from 50 to 150% of crop evapotranspiration and suspension before harvest does not influence total soluble solids content, pH, and fruit firmness.

Key words:
Solanum lycopersicom L.; subsurface drip irrigation; irrigation depths; suspension of irrigation; crop evapotranspiration

RESUMO

A pesquisa objetivou avaliar a qualidade pós-colheita de frutos de tomateiro para processamento industrial, submetido a lâminas de irrigação e períodos de corte de irrigação antes da colheita, irrigado por gotejamento subterrâneo em áreas de Cerrado na região Sul de Goiás, Brasil, nos anos de 2015 e 2016. Os experimentos foram instalados no delineamento em blocos ao acaso, com quatro repetições, em parcelas subdivididas. Nas parcelas avaliaram-se cinco lâminas de irrigação (50, 75, 100, 125 e 150% da evapotranspiração da cultura) e nas subparcelas cinco períodos de suspensão da irrigação (0, 7, 14, 21 e 28 dias antes da colheita). Após a colheita, que ocorreu aos 125 dias após o transplantio das mudas, foram avaliados a massa média de frutos, o formato dos frutos (diâmetro longitudinal e transversal), teor de sólidos solúveis totais, acidez titulável, pH, firmeza, rendimento de polpa e produtividade da água para rendimento de polpa. A irrigação deficitária, com reposição menor que 100% da evapotranspiração da cultura, permitiu economizar água, mas reduziu significativamente o tamanho dos frutos e o rendimento de polpa. A suspensão da irrigação em antecedência à colheita diminuiu o rendimento de polpa e o tamanho dos frutos. As maiores produtividades da água para rendimento de polpa dos frutos de tomateiro ocorreram sob déficit hídrico com 50% da evapotranspiração da cultura. Lâminas de irrigação de 50 a 150% da evapotranspiração da cultura e a suspensão da irrigação antes da colheita não influenciaram os teores de sólidos solúveis totais, pH e firmeza dos frutos.

Palavras-chave:
Solanum lycopersicom L.; gotejamento enterrado; lâminas de irrigação; suspensão da irrigação; evapotranspiração da cultura

Introduction

Water is one of the factors that most affect the development, yield, and industrial quality of processing tomato crops. Generally, deficit irrigations favor fruit quality (total soluble solids and titratable acidity) and water productivity and can harm the crop yield (Patanè et al., 2011Patanè, C.; Tringali, S.; Sortino, O. Effects of deficit irrigation on biomass, yield, water productivity and fruit quality of processing tomato under semi-arid Mediterranean climate conditions. Scientia Horticulturae, v.129, p.590-596, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2011.04.030
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2011.0...
; Moreira et al., 2012Moreira, J. A. A.; Cardoso, A. F.; Costa, L. L.; Rodrigues, M. S.; Peixoto, N.; Braz, L. T. Manejo da irrigação para otimização da produtividade qualidade de frutos de tomateiro em sistema de plantio direto. Irriga, v.17, p.408-417, 2012. https://doi.org/10.15809/irriga.2012v17n4p408
https://doi.org/10.15809/irriga.2012v17n...
; Wang et al., 2015Wang, C.; Gu, F.; Chen, J.; Yang, H.; Jiang, J.; Du, T.; Zhang, J. Assessing the response of yield and comprehensive fruit quality of tomato grown in greenhouse to deficit irrigation and nitrogen application strategies. Agricultural Water Management , v.161, p.9-19, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2015.07.010
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2015.0...
; Nangare et al., 2016Nangare, D. D.; Singh, Y.; Kumary, P. S.; Minhas, P. S. Growth, fruit yield and quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) as affected by deficit irrigation regulated on phenological basis. Agricultural Water Management, v.171, p.73-79, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.03.016
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.03....
; Rebouças Neto et al., 2017Rebouças Neto, M. de O.; Azevedo, B. M. de; Sousa, G. G. de; Mesquita, J. B. R. de; Viana, T. V. de A.; Fernandes, C. N. V. Irrigação da cultura do tomateiro durante dois anos de cultivo no litoral de Fortaleza-CE. Revista Brasileira de Agricultura Irrigada, v.11, p.1548-1556, 2017. https://doi.org/10.7127/rbai.v11n400598
https://doi.org/10.7127/rbai.v11n400598...
; Wang & Xing, 2017; Samui et al., 2020Samui, I.; Skalicky, M.; Sarkar, S.; Brahmachari, K.; Sal, S.; Ray, K.; Hossain, A.; Ghosh, A.; Nanda, K.; Bell, R. W.; Mainuddin, M.; Brestic, M.; Liu, L.; Saneoka, H.; Raza, M. A.; Erman, M.; Sabagh, A. E. Yield response, nutritional quality and water productivity of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) are influenced by drip irrigation and straw mulch in the coastal saline ecosystem of Ganges delta, India. Sustainability, v.12, p.01-21, 2020. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176779
https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176779...
).

According to Patanè et al. (2011Patanè, C.; Tringali, S.; Sortino, O. Effects of deficit irrigation on biomass, yield, water productivity and fruit quality of processing tomato under semi-arid Mediterranean climate conditions. Scientia Horticulturae, v.129, p.590-596, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2011.04.030
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2011.0...
), deficit irrigations during the vegetative phase or from flowering, associated with longer periods of suspension of irrigation before fruit maturation, increased the content of total soluble solids of the fruits, with lower yield losses. Similar results were observed in Brazil (Moreira et al., 2012Moreira, J. A. A.; Cardoso, A. F.; Costa, L. L.; Rodrigues, M. S.; Peixoto, N.; Braz, L. T. Manejo da irrigação para otimização da produtividade qualidade de frutos de tomateiro em sistema de plantio direto. Irriga, v.17, p.408-417, 2012. https://doi.org/10.15809/irriga.2012v17n4p408
https://doi.org/10.15809/irriga.2012v17n...
; Silva et al., 2018Silva, C. J.; Pontes, N. C.; Golynski, A.; Braga, M. B.; Quezado-Duval, A. M.; Silva, N. E. P. Performance of processing tomatoes under different supply levels of crop evapotranspiration. Horticultura Brasileira, v.36, p.299-305, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-053620180303
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-0536201803...
; Silva et al., 2019) and other countries (Wang et al., 2015Wang, C.; Gu, F.; Chen, J.; Yang, H.; Jiang, J.; Du, T.; Zhang, J. Assessing the response of yield and comprehensive fruit quality of tomato grown in greenhouse to deficit irrigation and nitrogen application strategies. Agricultural Water Management , v.161, p.9-19, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2015.07.010
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2015.0...
; Wang & Xing, 2017; Samui et al., 2020Samui, I.; Skalicky, M.; Sarkar, S.; Brahmachari, K.; Sal, S.; Ray, K.; Hossain, A.; Ghosh, A.; Nanda, K.; Bell, R. W.; Mainuddin, M.; Brestic, M.; Liu, L.; Saneoka, H.; Raza, M. A.; Erman, M.; Sabagh, A. E. Yield response, nutritional quality and water productivity of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) are influenced by drip irrigation and straw mulch in the coastal saline ecosystem of Ganges delta, India. Sustainability, v.12, p.01-21, 2020. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176779
https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176779...
), when was possible to conclude that the water deficit elevates the total soluble solids content and the acidity of tomato fruit. However, this procedure tends to reduce the yield and fruits size of the crop due to water stress (Soares et al., 2013Soares, L. A. dos A.; Brito, M. E. B.; Silva, E. C. B. da; Sá, F. V. da S.; Araújo, T. T. de. Componentes de produção do tomateiro sob lâminas de irrigação nas fases fenológicas. Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável, v.8, p.84-90, 2013.; Morales et al., 2015Morales, R. G. F.; Resende, L. V.; Bordini, I. C.; Galvão, A. G.; Rezende, F. C. Caracterização do tomateiro submetido ao déficit hídrico. Scientia Agraria, v.16, p.9-17, 2015. https://doi.org/10.5380/rsa.v16i1.41042
https://doi.org/10.5380/rsa.v16i1.41042...
; Rebouças Neto et al., 2017Rebouças Neto, M. de O.; Azevedo, B. M. de; Sousa, G. G. de; Mesquita, J. B. R. de; Viana, T. V. de A.; Fernandes, C. N. V. Irrigação da cultura do tomateiro durante dois anos de cultivo no litoral de Fortaleza-CE. Revista Brasileira de Agricultura Irrigada, v.11, p.1548-1556, 2017. https://doi.org/10.7127/rbai.v11n400598
https://doi.org/10.7127/rbai.v11n400598...
; Viol et al., 2018Viol, M. A.; Ferreira, E. D.; Carvalho, J. de A.; Lima, E. M. de; Rezende, F. C. Resposta do tomate sweet grape cultivado em substrato comercial com diferentes lâminas e frequências de irrigação. Revista Engenharia na Agricultura, v.26, p.269-276, 2018. https://doi.org/10.13083/reveng.v26i3.878
https://doi.org/10.13083/reveng.v26i3.87...
).

According to Moreira et al. (2012Moreira, J. A. A.; Cardoso, A. F.; Costa, L. L.; Rodrigues, M. S.; Peixoto, N.; Braz, L. T. Manejo da irrigação para otimização da produtividade qualidade de frutos de tomateiro em sistema de plantio direto. Irriga, v.17, p.408-417, 2012. https://doi.org/10.15809/irriga.2012v17n4p408
https://doi.org/10.15809/irriga.2012v17n...
), to obtain higher soluble solids contents, it is convenient to reduce the amount of water, increase the irrigation interval in the ripening phase of tomato fruits and completely suspend the irrigations several days before harvest. However, tomato water requirements are related to the hybrid, development stage, and edaphoclimatic conditions of cultivation (Bacallao & Fundora, 2014Bacallao, M. F.; Fundora, L. B. Tolerancia al estrés por déficit hídrico en tomate (Solanum lycopersium L.). Cultivos Tropicales, v.35, p.70-88, 2014.; Silva et al., 2019Silva, C. J. da; Frizzone, J. A.; Silva, C. A. da; Golynski, A.; Silva, F. M. da; Megguer, C. A. Tomato yield as a function of water depths and irrigation suspension periods. Revista Brasileira de Engenharia Agrícola e Ambiental, v.33, p.591-597, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-1929/agriambi.v23n8p591-597
https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-1929/agriam...
).

In Brazil, the Cerrado biome is the main tomato-producing region, where irrigation management is still one of the main challenges for tomato growers, who mostly use empirical irrigation management methods. The cultivation areas are irrigated by center pivot sprinkler systems, resulting in economic, environmental, and social losses (Delazari et al., 2016Delazari, F. T.; Giovanelli, L. B.; Gomes, R. S.; Machado Junior, R.; Lima, J. de O.; Freitas, E. M. de; Pereira, S. B.; Silva, D. J. H. da. Irrigation water management during the ripening of tomato aiming fruit quality. African Journal of Agricultural Research, v.11, p.4525-4531, 2016. https://doi.org/10.5897/AJAR2016.11673
https://doi.org/10.5897/AJAR2016.11673...
). Thus, this study evaluated the postharvest quality of processing tomato fruits, submitted to irrigation depths and suspension periods of irrigation before harvest, irrigated by subsurface drip in Cerrado areas in the southern region of the Goiás state, Brazil.

Material and Methods

The experiment was conducted in 2015 (from June to October) and 2016 (from May to September) at the Instituto Federal Goiano, Campus Morrinhos, Goiás state, Brazil, at 17º 49’ 19.5” S, 49º 12’ 11.3” W, and altitude of 885 m. The local climate is AW-type, semi-humid tropical, with rainy summer and dry winter, according to the Köppen classification.

The experiment was carried out in a Cerrado area of Oxisol, bulk density of 1.16 g cm-3, moisture contents of 0.36 m3 m-3 (-10 kPa), and permanent wilting point of 0.23 m3 m-3 (-1500 kPa), in the 0-30 cm layer. The soil tillage was carried out in a conventional way in 2015 and under the no-tillage system in 2016. According to the soil analysis (Table 1), the soil fertilization was carried out, aiming at an expected yield of 130 t ha-1 (CFSGO, 1988CFSGO - Comissão de Fertilidade de Solos de Goiás. Recomendações de corretivos e fertilizantes para Goiás: 5 aproximação Goiânia: UFG/EMGOPA, 1988. 10p. Informativo Técnico, 1).

Table 1
Chemical and particle-size characteristics of soil in the experimental area, in Morrinhos, GO, Brazil

In 2015, liming was carried out 51 days before transplanting. In 2016, liming was not necessary. In both years of research, fertilization was done in the planting furrow, three days before transplanting the seedlings, and topdressing fertilization was applied through fertigation, 50% at 22 days after transplanting (DAT) (urea - 45% N and potassium chloride - 58% K2O) and the other 50% at 35 DAT (calcium nitrate - 19% N and 19% Ca and potassium chloride - 58% K2O).

Tomato seedlings, BRS Sena hybrid, were transplanted 26 days after sowing, with soil at field capacity. The fertilizer was incorporated in the soil used to cover the transplanting furrow. Below each transplanting furrow, there was a dripping tube. Until 8 DAT, the plants were irrigated daily; from 8 to 25 DAT, they were irrigated on alternate days, replacing 100% of the crop evapotranspiration (ETc) to ensure the seedlings survived. From that point on, they were submitted to the treatments.

The experiments were established under a randomized block design, with four replicates arranged in a split-plot scheme. Five irrigation depths equal to 50, 75, 100, 125 and 150% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) were applied in the plots. In the subplots, five periods of irrigation suspension: 0, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days before harvest (Marouelli et al., 2007Marouelli, W. A.; Silva, W. L. C.; Silva, H. R. da; Moretti, C. L. Efeito da época de suspensão da irrigação na produção e qualidade de frutos de tomate para processamento. Brasília: Embrapa Hortaliças , 2007, 18p. Boletim de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento, 25) were evaluated. Each experimental plot consisted of five subplots. Each subplot was composed of three rows of plants of 5.5 m in length, spaced 1.10 m between them. The plants were spaced at 0.30 m in the planting row, totaling 18 plants per row, 54 plants per subplot, 270 plants per plot, and 5,400 plants in the experiment, which results in a stand of around 30,303 plants ha-1. The blocks and plots were spaced in 6.0 and 4.0 m, respectively.

The drip irrigation system was installed at 0.20 m depth, using a self-compensating emitter per plant, a flow of 2.2 L h-1, and an antisiphon system operating at a pressure of 150 kPa. The ETc (100%) was determined by the mass variation of five weighing lysimeters, with a capacity of 52 L, diameter of 32.5 cm, and precision of 10 g, which were filled with soil naturally dried by the air of the experimental area (layer 0-15 cm) and cultivated with a tomato plant. The accumulated ETc values obtained in the lysimeters during the conduction of the experiments (125 days) were 490.2 and 426.9 mm, and the reference evapotranspiration (ETo) values, calculated by Penman-Monteith, according to Allen et al. (1998Allen, R. G.; Pereira, L. S.; Raes, D.; Smith, M. Crop evapotranspiration: Guidelines for computing crop water requirements. Rome: FAO, 1998. 300p. Irrigation and Drainage, Paper 56), were 474.1 and 492.2 mm, in the years 2015 and 2016, respectively. The irrigation times of each treatment were calculated according to ETc, wetted strip width, spacing, dripper flow rate, and irrigation depth (treatments). The meteorological data were monitored at an automatic meteorological station located about 400 m from the experiment.

During the experiments, the meteorological station recorded maximum temperatures of 35.4 and 34.1 °C, minimum temperatures of 11 and 8.2 °C, precipitation of 86 and 27.6 mm in 2015 and 2016, respectively. In the first year of study, 30.6 mm of rainfall occurred up to 40 DAT and 55.4 mm in the final phase of the experiment. In the second year, 13 mm of rain occurred up to 25 DAT and 14.6 mm in the final 30 days of the experiment.

From 97 days after transplantation, irrigation was gradually suspended. Initially, the suspension was applied to the subplots 28 days before harvest. Seven days later, the subplots of 21 days and so on until reaching the harvest date, when the plots with zero-day irrigation suspension were irrigated 12 hours before harvest.

The harvest was carried out manually on the central row of the subplot at 125 DAT. After harvest, 30 ripe fruits of each subplot were randomly chosen for postharvest evaluations in the laboratory. With these 30 ripe fruits, the average fruit mass (AFM, g per fruit) using a precision scale of 1 g, the shape of the fruit through the transverse diameter (TD, mm) and longitudinal diameter (LD, mm) was measured with a digital caliper, as proposed by Silva et al. (2018Silva, C. J.; Pontes, N. C.; Golynski, A.; Braga, M. B.; Quezado-Duval, A. M.; Silva, N. E. P. Performance of processing tomatoes under different supply levels of crop evapotranspiration. Horticultura Brasileira, v.36, p.299-305, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-053620180303
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-0536201803...
).

To determine the contents of total soluble solids (SS, ºBrix), titratable acidity (% citric acid), and pH, the juice from 20 fully ripe fruits of the sample was processed in a fruit centrifuge to obtain the juice. Two drops of juice were placed on the prism of a portable refractometer of scale 0 to 32 ºBrix, and then the refractive index was read (IAL, 2008IAL - Instituto Adolfo Lutz. Métodos Físico-Químicos para Análise de Alimentos. 4.ed. 1.ed. Digital: São Paulo, 2008. 1020p.). Before reading the sample, the refractometer was calibrated with distilled water. A direct pH reading was carried out with a digital pH meter using a portion of the juice. Titratable acidity (TA) was determined by the official methodology described by IAL (2008IAL - Instituto Adolfo Lutz. Métodos Físico-Químicos para Análise de Alimentos. 4.ed. 1.ed. Digital: São Paulo, 2008. 1020p.), by neutralization titration with 0.1 N sodium hydroxide (NaOH) until pH 8.2.

Firmness (FZ, kgf cm-2) was determined by the planer method in 10 ripe fruits of each treatment sample. For greater confidence in the results, two readings were performed on each fruit; that is, in each treatment, 20 firmness readings were made, and the average per treatment was calculated. The FZ of the fruits was calculated considering the deformed area and the weight of the glass plate (Calbo & Nery, 1995Calbo, A. G.; Nery, A. A. Medida de firmeza em hortaliças pela técnica de aplanação. Horticultura Brasileira, v.13, p.14-18, 1995. ).

The industrial pulp yield (PY) was calculated after harvest, according to the methodology proposed by Giordano et al. (2000Giordano, L. B.; Silva, J. B. C.; Barbosa, V. Colheita. In: Silva, J. B. C. da; Giordano, L. de B. Tomate para processamento industrial. Brasília: EMBRAPA Comunicação para Transferência de Tecnologia - EMBRAPA-CNPH, 2000. p.128-135.) (Eq. 1).

P Y = T F Y · 0 . 95 · º B R I X 28 (1)

where:

PY - concentrated pulp yield (t ha-1) at 28 ºBrix;

TFY - total fruit yield per treatment (t ha-1); and,

°Brix - total soluble solids content of fruits per treatment.

Water productivity (WP) for pulp yield (PY) was calculated by the relation between PY (kg ha-1) by the total volume of proportional water of each treatment (m3 ha-1), summing up all irrigations performed throughout the experiment (Eq. 2), as also proposed by Silva et al. (2018Silva, C. J.; Pontes, N. C.; Golynski, A.; Braga, M. B.; Quezado-Duval, A. M.; Silva, N. E. P. Performance of processing tomatoes under different supply levels of crop evapotranspiration. Horticultura Brasileira, v.36, p.299-305, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-053620180303
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-0536201803...
) and Mattar et al. (2020Mattar, M. A.; El-Abedin, T. K. Z.; Alazba, A. A.; Al-Ghobari, H. Soil water status and growth of tomato with partial root-zone drying and deficit drip irrigation techniques. Irrigation Science, v.38, p.163-176, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-019-00658-y
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-019-00658...
)

W P = P Y V (2)

where:

WP - water productivity (kg m-3);

PY - average pulp yield of each treatment (kg ha-1); and,

V - volume of water applied per hectare in each treatment (m3).

The evaluated data were submitted to the analysis of variance (F test) at p ≤ 0.05, using the Software SISVAR (Ferreira, 2011Ferreira, D. F. Sisvar: A computer statistical analysis system. Ciência e Agrotecnologia, v.35, p.1039-1042, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-70542011000600001
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-7054201100...
). When there was a significant effect of the treatments on the evaluated variables, the polynomial regression analysis was applied in the primary treatments (irrigation depths) and the secondary treatments (periods of irrigation suspension). The regression model chosen was according to the significance level of up to 0.05 probability by the F test and the highest coefficient of determination (R2).

Results and Discussion

There was no influence of the interaction between the irrigation depths (%ETc) and irrigation suspension periods on any of the variables evaluated in postharvest in both years. In the first year, the irrigation depths significantly influenced (p ≤ 0.01) the average fruit mass (AFM), transversal (TD) and longitudinal (LD) diameter of the fruit, pulp yield (PY), titratable acidity (TA), and water productivity for pulp yield (PY). The periods of suspension of irrigation before harvesting had a significant effect on the PY (p ≤ 0.01) and AFM (p ≤ 0.05). In the second year, the irrigation depths influenced the PY, water productivity for pulp yield (PY) (p ≤ 0.01), and TA (p ≤ 0.05), and the suspension periods of irrigation before harvest influenced the water productivity for pulp yield (PY) (p ≤ 0.01), AFM, PY and fruit shape LD (p ≤ 0.05).

In both years, the content of SS, pH, and FZ were not significantly influenced by the irrigation depths and suspension periods of irrigation. Also, TA was not influenced by the suspension periods of irrigation. Possibly, these variables may have been influenced by the rains of 55.4 and 14.6 mm at the end of the crop cycle, in 2015 and 2016, respectively, which may have equalized the humidity on the soil surface, canceling the possible effects of treatments on these variables.

The average fruit mass (AFM) increased linearly as the irrigation depths increased (Figure 1A) in the first year. In the second year, there was no effect of the treatments on this variable. However, the suspension periods of irrigation significantly influenced the AFM in both years. There was a linear decreasing effect for AFM as the period without irrigation increased before harvest (Figure 1B). The reduction in AFM was probably due to the lower level of soil moisture content, as the period without irrigation before harvest increased. Lower soil moisture certainly reduced the water content of the fruits and consequently caused lower AFM. The average fruit mass data for 2016 did not adequately adjust to the linear equation (y = -0.0955*x + 68.557; R² = 0.46; CV = 8.18%). The average mass was equal to 67.22 g per fruit.

Figure 1
Average tomato fruit mass (AFM) as function of irrigation depths in 2015 (A) and AFM as function of suspension periods of irrigation in 2015 and 2016 (B), of tomato fruits harvested at 125 DAT

Regarding fruit shape, the transverse diameter (TD) had a quadratic behavior, and the longitudinal diameter (LD) showed a linear increasing effect according to the increase in irrigation depths (%ETc) in the first year (Figure 2A). However, irrigation depths did not significantly influence these variables in the second year. When the suspension periods of irrigation before harvest on the TD and LD of the fruits were analyzed, there were no significant effects of the treatments in the first year. However, in the second year, the LD had a linear decreasing behavior as the suspension periods of irrigation before harvest increased (Figure 2B).

Figure 2
Transverse (TD) and longitudinal (LD) diameter as function of irrigation depths in 2015 (A), LD as function of suspension periods of irrigation in 2016 (B), and titratable acidity (TA) of tomato fruits at 125 DAT, as function of irrigation depths (%ETc) in 2015 and 2016 (C)

The titratable acidity (TA) data for 2015 and 2016 did not fit perfectly to the quadratic equation model (y = 1E-05**x2 - 0.0022**x + 0.553; R² = 0.50; CV = 7.67%), and linear equation model (y = 0.0005*x + 0.5104; R² = 0.51; CV = 7.67%), being the mean values found 0.46 and 0.56%, respectively (Figure 2C). However, the suspension of irrigation before harvest did not significantly influence TA in any of the years.

Water deficit conditions reduced fruit size. This response was verified in both years (Figures 2A and B). The results found are similar to those of Rebouças Neto et al. (2017Rebouças Neto, M. de O.; Azevedo, B. M. de; Sousa, G. G. de; Mesquita, J. B. R. de; Viana, T. V. de A.; Fernandes, C. N. V. Irrigação da cultura do tomateiro durante dois anos de cultivo no litoral de Fortaleza-CE. Revista Brasileira de Agricultura Irrigada, v.11, p.1548-1556, 2017. https://doi.org/10.7127/rbai.v11n400598
https://doi.org/10.7127/rbai.v11n400598...
) in Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, using the Heinz 9498 tomato hybrid for industrial processing and the dominator F1 hybrid, when they concluded that irrigations below 120% of the reference evapotranspiration (ETo) reduced the diameter and average fruit mass.

The results also confirmed those found by Nangare et al. (2016Nangare, D. D.; Singh, Y.; Kumary, P. S.; Minhas, P. S. Growth, fruit yield and quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) as affected by deficit irrigation regulated on phenological basis. Agricultural Water Management, v.171, p.73-79, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.03.016
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.03....
) in India and Viol et al. (2018Viol, M. A.; Ferreira, E. D.; Carvalho, J. de A.; Lima, E. M. de; Rezende, F. C. Resposta do tomate sweet grape cultivado em substrato comercial com diferentes lâminas e frequências de irrigação. Revista Engenharia na Agricultura, v.26, p.269-276, 2018. https://doi.org/10.13083/reveng.v26i3.878
https://doi.org/10.13083/reveng.v26i3.87...
) in Lavras, MG, Brazil, who observed larger fruit size with irrigation depth equal to 100% of the crop evapotranspiration and 140% of the ETo measured in a class “A” mini pan with cultivation in a greenhouse, respectively. The results of this research also corroborate those of Soares et al. (2013Soares, L. A. dos A.; Brito, M. E. B.; Silva, E. C. B. da; Sá, F. V. da S.; Araújo, T. T. de. Componentes de produção do tomateiro sob lâminas de irrigação nas fases fenológicas. Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável, v.8, p.84-90, 2013.) in Pombal, PB, Brazil, who verified a linear increasing effect of the average fruit mass as irrigation depths increased from 60 to 120% of ETc.

The titratable acidity (TA) results found in this research differ from those of Patanè et al. (2011Patanè, C.; Tringali, S.; Sortino, O. Effects of deficit irrigation on biomass, yield, water productivity and fruit quality of processing tomato under semi-arid Mediterranean climate conditions. Scientia Horticulturae, v.129, p.590-596, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2011.04.030
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2011.0...
) and Nangare et al. (2016Nangare, D. D.; Singh, Y.; Kumary, P. S.; Minhas, P. S. Growth, fruit yield and quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) as affected by deficit irrigation regulated on phenological basis. Agricultural Water Management, v.171, p.73-79, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.03.016
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.03....
), who found that irrigation regimes did not influence the titratable acidity. However, they found trends towards higher amounts of citric acid in fruits subjected to water deficit. Also, the results corroborate those found by Mattar et al. (2020Mattar, M. A.; El-Abedin, T. K. Z.; Alazba, A. A.; Al-Ghobari, H. Soil water status and growth of tomato with partial root-zone drying and deficit drip irrigation techniques. Irrigation Science, v.38, p.163-176, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-019-00658-y
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-019-00658...
) in Saudi Arabia, where they observed that irrigations below 100% of the ETc decrease the titratable acidity. Irrigations with 50% replacement of ETc provided mean values of TA equal to 0.55%, which are consistent with the results found in this study, where irrigations with 50% of ETc provided TA of 0.48 and 0.54% in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

The concentrated pulp yield is directly related to the total soluble solids content and crop yield (Giordano et al., 2000Giordano, L. B.; Silva, J. B. C.; Barbosa, V. Colheita. In: Silva, J. B. C. da; Giordano, L. de B. Tomate para processamento industrial. Brasília: EMBRAPA Comunicação para Transferência de Tecnologia - EMBRAPA-CNPH, 2000. p.128-135.). The deficit and excess of water harmed the PY of BRS Sena tomato cultivar fruits. The highest pulp yield was estimated at 17.35 and 10.81 t ha-1, with a water replacement depth of 117.21 and 136.36% of ETc in 2015 and 2016, respectively (Figure 3A). The longer the suspension period of irrigation before harvest, the lower the PY of tomato fruits in both years (Figure 3B).

Figure 3
Pulp yield (PY) of tomato fruits at 125 DAT as function of irrigation depths (%ETc) (A) and suspension periods of irrigation before harvest (B) in 2015 and 2016

Pulp yield (PY) results observed with irrigation deficits of 50% of ETc are lower by about 70 and 80%, compared to the maximum PY estimated with 117.21 and 136% replacement of ETc in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The results of this study corroborate those observed by Patanè et al. (2011Patanè, C.; Tringali, S.; Sortino, O. Effects of deficit irrigation on biomass, yield, water productivity and fruit quality of processing tomato under semi-arid Mediterranean climate conditions. Scientia Horticulturae, v.129, p.590-596, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2011.04.030
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2011.0...
) in Italy, who observed a reduction of about 20% in PY when they irrigated tomato with 50% ETc, compared to treatments irrigated with 100% ETc. The results are also consistent with those observed by Silva et al. (2019Silva, C. J. da; Frizzone, J. A.; Silva, C. A. da; Golynski, A.; Silva, F. M. da; Megguer, C. A. Tomato yield as a function of water depths and irrigation suspension periods. Revista Brasileira de Engenharia Agrícola e Ambiental, v.33, p.591-597, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-1929/agriambi.v23n8p591-597
https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-1929/agriam...
) in Morrinhos, GO, Brazil, who concluded that deficit irrigation with 50% of ETc reduced tomato yield by up to 70 t ha-1, when compared to the irrigation depth of 125.47% of ETc, that provided the highest tomato yield in 2015. These results corroborated those of Morales et al. (2015Morales, R. G. F.; Resende, L. V.; Bordini, I. C.; Galvão, A. G.; Rezende, F. C. Caracterização do tomateiro submetido ao déficit hídrico. Scientia Agraria, v.16, p.9-17, 2015. https://doi.org/10.5380/rsa.v16i1.41042
https://doi.org/10.5380/rsa.v16i1.41042...
), Rebouças Neto et al. (2017Rebouças Neto, M. de O.; Azevedo, B. M. de; Sousa, G. G. de; Mesquita, J. B. R. de; Viana, T. V. de A.; Fernandes, C. N. V. Irrigação da cultura do tomateiro durante dois anos de cultivo no litoral de Fortaleza-CE. Revista Brasileira de Agricultura Irrigada, v.11, p.1548-1556, 2017. https://doi.org/10.7127/rbai.v11n400598
https://doi.org/10.7127/rbai.v11n400598...
) in Brazil, Wang et al. (2015Wang, C.; Gu, F.; Chen, J.; Yang, H.; Jiang, J.; Du, T.; Zhang, J. Assessing the response of yield and comprehensive fruit quality of tomato grown in greenhouse to deficit irrigation and nitrogen application strategies. Agricultural Water Management , v.161, p.9-19, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2015.07.010
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2015.0...
) in China when they verified lower tomato crop yields as the water deficit in tomato plants increased.

Regardless of the years of evaluation (2015 and 2016), the highest water productivity (WP) for PY were 4.70 and 2.56 kg m-3, which occurred in the lowest irrigation replacement depth (50% of ETc) (Figures 4A). In the first year, there were no effects of suspension periods of irrigation on water productivity. In the second year, the more days without irrigation before harvest (28 days), the higher the water yield for PY (Figure 4B).

Figure 4
Water productivity (WP) for pulp yield (PY) of tomato fruits at 125 DAT as function of irrigation depths (%ETc) in 2015 and 2016 (A) and suspension periods of irrigation before harvest in 2016 (B)

Results obtained corroborate those found by Patanè et al. (2011Patanè, C.; Tringali, S.; Sortino, O. Effects of deficit irrigation on biomass, yield, water productivity and fruit quality of processing tomato under semi-arid Mediterranean climate conditions. Scientia Horticulturae, v.129, p.590-596, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2011.04.030
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2011.0...
) in the region of Sicily (Italy), where they found that the water productivity for commercial tomato fruit yield is higher under water deficit. With the irrigation depth of 50% of ETc, they obtained WP of 19.65 and 28.07 kg of fruit m-3 in two consecutive years, respectively. The results also corroborate those found by Nangare et al. (2016Nangare, D. D.; Singh, Y.; Kumary, P. S.; Minhas, P. S. Growth, fruit yield and quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) as affected by deficit irrigation regulated on phenological basis. Agricultural Water Management, v.171, p.73-79, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.03.016
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.03....
) in India, which obtained the highest water productivity for total fruit production (17.9 kg m-3 average of two years of cultivation), with irrigation deficits of 60% of ETc.

A fact also evidenced by Silva et al. (2019Silva, C. J. da; Frizzone, J. A.; Silva, C. A. da; Golynski, A.; Silva, F. M. da; Megguer, C. A. Tomato yield as a function of water depths and irrigation suspension periods. Revista Brasileira de Engenharia Agrícola e Ambiental, v.33, p.591-597, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-1929/agriambi.v23n8p591-597
https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-1929/agriam...
) in Morrinhos, GO, Brazil, Mattar et al. (2020Mattar, M. A.; El-Abedin, T. K. Z.; Alazba, A. A.; Al-Ghobari, H. Soil water status and growth of tomato with partial root-zone drying and deficit drip irrigation techniques. Irrigation Science, v.38, p.163-176, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-019-00658-y
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-019-00658...
) in Saudi Arabia, where the highest water productivity for total fruit production was 15.55 and 12.65 kg m-3 and 12.44 and 12.15 kg m-3 in two consecutive years, respectively, with irrigation depth of 50% ETc. Results are also consistent with Wang & Xing (2017Wang, X.; Xing, Y. Evaluation of the effects of irrigation and fertilization on tomato fruit yield and quality: a principal component analysis. Scientific Reports, v.7, p.1-13, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00373-8
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00373...
) in China, Silva et al. (2018) in Morrinhos, GO, Brazil, and Samui et al. (2020Samui, I.; Skalicky, M.; Sarkar, S.; Brahmachari, K.; Sal, S.; Ray, K.; Hossain, A.; Ghosh, A.; Nanda, K.; Bell, R. W.; Mainuddin, M.; Brestic, M.; Liu, L.; Saneoka, H.; Raza, M. A.; Erman, M.; Sabagh, A. E. Yield response, nutritional quality and water productivity of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) are influenced by drip irrigation and straw mulch in the coastal saline ecosystem of Ganges delta, India. Sustainability, v.12, p.01-21, 2020. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176779
https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176779...
) in India, who concluded that under water deficit, the tomato has higher water productivity.

In the two years of research, rainfall occurred at the end of the crop cycle, which somehow influenced the treatments with suspension periods of irrigation already being applied, which certainly may have influenced some of the postharvest results in the two years of research. In the first year, no typical symptoms of begomoviral were observed in the crop. Although in the second year, despite the intensification of whitefly control, there was an intense pressure of the pest in the tomato fruit, which ended up in a high incidence of virus symptoms caused by a complex of viruses of the begomoviral genus, with typical symptoms of roughness, deformation, leaf rolling, decrease in leaf area and consequently less development, water, and nutrient absorption and lower crop yield (Inoue-Nagata, 2005Inoue-Nagata, A. K. Doenças viróticas. In: Lopes, C. A.; Ávila, A. C. de (orgs.). Doenças do tomateiro. Brasília: Embrapa Hortaliças, 2005. p.77-94. ). This fact explains the lower water consumption and worse yield of the hybrid tomato, BRS Sena, in 2016 compared to 2015.

Conclusions

  1. Deficient irrigation, with replacement of less than 100% of crop evapotranspiration, allowed to save water but significantly reduced the size of the fruits and the production of the concentrated pulp of the fruits of the BRS Sena tomato cultivar.

  2. The suspension of irrigation before the harvest decreased pulp yield and fruit size of the BRS Sena tomato cultivar.

  3. The highest water productivity for pulp yield of tomato fruits occurred under irrigation depth equal 50% of crop evapotranspiration.

  4. Irrigation depths (from 50 to 150% of crop evapotranspiration) and irrigation suspension before harvest do not influence total soluble solids content, pH, and fruit firmness.

Acknowledgements

To the Instituto Federal Goiano for its support in implementing and conducting the experiment and the scientific paper writing. To the companies, Brambilla and Heringer, for donating the tomato seedlings and the necessary fertilizers in the research, respectively.

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  • Viol, M. A.; Ferreira, E. D.; Carvalho, J. de A.; Lima, E. M. de; Rezende, F. C. Resposta do tomate sweet grape cultivado em substrato comercial com diferentes lâminas e frequências de irrigação. Revista Engenharia na Agricultura, v.26, p.269-276, 2018. https://doi.org/10.13083/reveng.v26i3.878
    » https://doi.org/10.13083/reveng.v26i3.878
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    » http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2015.07.010
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    » https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00373-8

  • 1 Research developed at Morrinhos, Goiás, Brazil

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    20 Apr 2022
  • Date of issue
    July 2022

History

  • Received
    06 Oct 2021
  • Accepted
    09 Feb 2022
  • Published
    22 Feb 2022
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