Low-cost cold storage of tomato in modified atmosphere packaging
Refrigerated storage is the most effective method of preserving fruit quality, but its high cost deters adoption by smallholder producers and entrepreneurs. Several low-cost cooling methods have been developed, but they cannot maintain the recommended cold-storage temperature. The development of the CoolBot device to create and maintain the 13°C temperature required by most tropical produce at low cost is a promising breakthrough. It was tested in the present study on tomato in combination with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) using 25 micron-thick low-density polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) bags. Fruit stored in the open at room temperature served as the control. Results showed that the CoolBot storage chamber maintained the desired temperature of 13°C; in contrast, room temperatures varied from 24 to 32°C. As a result, fruit ripening was remarkably slowed in the lower-temperature environment. Fruit turned red-ripe soft (a* values of more than 20) after about 1 month of storage, whereas fruit at room temperature changed after 12 days of storage. Similarly, losses in weight, firmness, total soluble solids and titratable acidity were retarded during CoolBot storage. PP seemed to better than PE as MAP film to enhance fruit quality and shelf life.
Seng, M., Buntong, B., Acedo, A.L., Easdown, W., Hughes, J.A. and Keatinge, J.D.H. (2017). Low-cost cold storage of tomato in modified atmosphere packaging. Acta Hortic. 1179, 197-200
Solanum lycopersicum, CoolBot, polymeric film, quality, shelf life