The Determinate ‘Tasti-Lee’ tomato competes with indeterminate, greenhouse cultivars for yield, fruit quality, and sensory analysis when produced hydroponically

Daniel J. Cantliffe, Nicole L. Shaw, Steven A. Sargent, Charles Simms, Adrian Berry, Elena Lon Kan, Lorenzo Puentes, J. W. Scott


Three cluster-type tomato Lycopersicon esculentum L. cultivars (‘Campari’, ‘Pitenza’, and ‘Tradiro’) and two beefsteak-type tomato cultivars (‘Tasti-Lee’ and ‘FA-574’) were grown in a passively-ventilated greenhouse from 30 Oct. 2007 until 1 May 2008. Both ‘Campari’ and ‘Tasti-Lee’ are marketed as high-lycopene fruit cultivars. All greenhouse cultivars were harvested 15 times from 17 Jan. until 1 May 2008; ‘Tasti-Lee’, a determinate field cultivar, was harvested 10 times from 17 Jan. until 27 Mar. 2008. ‘Campari’ produced the smallest fruit (90 g) and the greatest number of fruit per plant but not significantly different than ‘Pitenza’ (mean 210). ‘Tradiro’ and ‘Pitenza’ produced the greatest fruit weight per plant (mean 26 kg·m–2). ‘Tasti-Lee’ produced 11 kg·m–2 during 5 months of production. Fruit quality analysis was performed on ‘Campari’, ‘Tasti-Lee’, ‘Tradiro’, and a Florida-field-grown sample, ‘Sanibel’, which was purchased at a local retail store. ‘Campari’ fruits were softer (18 vs. 1.8–3.6 mm deformation), higher soluble solids (5.6 vs. 2.4–3.6 °Brix), higher titratable acidity (0.5% vs. 0.2%–0.3%), and lower pH (4.2 vs. 4.3–4.6) than the other cultivars. ‘Tasti-Lee’ fruits were highest in lycopene content (85 vs. 40–60 μg/g). Results from a sensory taste panel ranked ‘Tasti-Lee’ best for overall appearance and color, and was similar to ‘Campari’ for fi rmness, fl avor, and overall acceptability. ‘Campari’ was ranked best for sweetness followed by ‘Tasti-Lee’. The retail sample ‘Sanibel’ was usually ranked last in all categories by the sensory panel. The cultivar Tasti-Lee would be a good selection for greenhouse tomato growers interested in double-cropping in spring and fall to produce high-lycopene fruits with excellent quality and flavor.

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