Authors: Ali BATU, A. Keith THOMPSON
Abstract: An experiment retail plastic packaging system was used to compare the atmospheric composition within sealed packs containing tomato fruits. A range of plastic films with different permeability properties were tested to study the effects of these conditions on the changes in postharvest qualities of tomatoes harvested at the pink stage of maturity and stored at 13 o C for 60 days. The films used were 20 micron (PE20) and 50 micron (PE50) polyethylene, 10 micron polyvinylcholoride (PVC) or 25 micron polypropylene (PP) compared with unwrapped fruit as a control. Tomatoes were evaluated for changes in colour, firmness, weight, titratable acidity, total soluble solids, decay and sensory attributes. All unwrapped tomatoes were overripe and soft after 30 days. Sealed packaging, especially using with PE50 and PP films, delayed the development of the red colour of tomatoes until 30 days of storage and those tomatoes were also still very firm even after 60 days of storage. Tomatoes sealed within PE50 and PP films had also the lowest weight loss and the highest soluble solids after 60 days of storage.
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