Evaluation of Impact Damage during Handling of Fresh Market Tomatoes

Marcos D Ferreira, Luis Gustavo P Carmelo, Poliana Christina Spricigo

Abstract


Tomato is one of the most consumed vegetables in the world, and Brazil occupies a prominent place among the major producers. Harvest and postharvest handling are among the main points of occurrence of mechanical injuries for fresh market tomatoes, which can be caused by impact of fruit dropping, inappropriate handling, and also from brush pressure. Damage due to brushing during the cleaning and polishing steps is difficult to measure and quantify. The main goal of this work was to evaluate damage incidence due to the brushing step using a cleaning, sorting, and packing prototype that simulates a packing line. Previous studies indicated that gentian violet could be used as a marker for skin superficial damage on tomatoes. In this study, fresh market tomatoes were washed and sorted in a prototype that consists in cleaning and polishing step using synthetic and non-synthetic brushes in a rotational movement at 120 rpm. After cleaning and sorting, fruit were immersed in a solution of gentian violet, then cleaned and rinsed with water. After drying, fruit color analyses of skin damage were done based on scores for intensity and severity. Fruit subjected to the prototype showed higher incidence of total injuries, mostly of low and medium severity, as compared to control. Those injuries increased weight loss but did not affect CO2 production. The results indicate that the use of the skin color method can be an important tool for evaluating physical skin damage on tomato processing.


Keywords


Lycopersicon esculentum, brushing, sorting, postharvest handling, gentian violet

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283