Effects of the supply chain routes and pre-storage treatments on the postharvest quality of 'Nemo-Netta' tomatoes

S. Shezi, T.S. Workneh
Tomato climacteric nature limits its shelf life. In this study, the effects of three supply routes (Pontdrift, Letaba, Esmefour), and four pre-storage treatments (anolyte water, Gum Arabic (GA), anolyte water + GA, hot water treatment (HWT) + GA, control/untreated) ambient (25°C) were evaluated in tomato 'Nemo-Netta'quality. A randomized complete block design was selected as the experimental design with three supply routes as blocks and a random allocation of five pre-storage treatments within each block. Three replications of 15 fruit per replicate were used in each treatment. Tomato quality was assessed on days 0, 8, 16 and 24 days of storage. Quality assessment involved weight loss %, firmness, total antioxidant capacity (AC) and general marketability. The results revealed a significant difference in the quality of tomatoes from different supply chain routes, with fruit from Letaba (EM) being most superior followed by Pontdrift (PD), then Esmefour (EF). Tomatoes from Letaba Municipality were of optimum quality upon the arrival, and became the best in terms of maintaining quality throughout the storage period. The combination treatment of HWT and GA coating was most effective in reducing water loss by (2.17±1.85%) compared to untreated control. It also reduced firmness loss by 3±2.35 N in fruit from EF and PD, and by (6±2.35 N) in fruit from Letaba during day 24 of storage, compared to untreated control. Anolyte water was the most effective treatment in maintaining the appearance and retained more TAC. This revealed a physiological impact of applying anolyte water treatment, however, the mechanism of action has not yet been studied, thus still needs to be done. The findings revealed that individual treatments have a significant effect on maintaining the tomato quality. However, the integration of treatments would be more superior. A holistic approach is most efficient in extending the shelf life of tomatoes.
Shezi, S. and Workneh, T.S. (2020). Effects of the supply chain routes and pre-storage treatments on the postharvest quality of 'Nemo-Netta' tomatoes. Acta Hortic. 1292, 269-278
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1292.35
tomato, quality, postharvest treatment, transportation

Acta Horticulturae