Efficacy of moringa leaf extract and carboxymethyl cellulose on optimizing postharvest quality of tomato fruit (Solanum lycopersicum) harvested at different maturity stages

S. Mthembu, S.Z. Tesfay, A. Mditshwa, L.S. Magwaza
Tomato fruit (Solanum lycopersicum) have a relatively short postharvest life, which is related to their perishability. As a result, tomatoes are prone to several problems during postharvest transportation and storage, affecting their market value. This study evaluated the efficacy of moringa leaf extract (MLE) infused onto edible carboxyl methylcellulose (CMC) on physico-chemical attributes and postharvest quality of tomato fruit. The study was conducted using the tomato cultivar 'Star 9037' harvested at three maturity stages, namely mature green, breaker and turning. Treatments comprised of untreated fruit and a combination of 1% CMC + 10% MLE. Fruit were then stored for 21 days in a cold room with a delivery air temperature of 11.5°C and 90% RH. Thereafter, fruit were transferred to ambient conditions at 22(±2)°C for 8-12 days, to simulate shelf life at retail. Fruit were evaluated for physico-chemical quality attributes including mass loss, firmness, total soluble solids (TSS), titratable acidity (TA), TSS/TA ratio, colour and decay. The results showed that the moringa based edible coating significantly (p<0.001) delayed the changes in mass loss, firmness, total soluble solids, titratable acidity, colour development and reduced spoilage in comparison to the untreated fruit. The treatment effect was more pronounced on the mature green stage followed by the breaker and turning stage. Decay for untreated fruit equated to 25.24, 42.72 and 50.49% for mature green, breaker and turning, respectively, compared to treated fruit with respective values of 17.48, 28.16 and 45.54%. The present study illustrated that the moringa-based edible coating was effective in maintaining the overall quality and extending the shelf life by delaying the ripening process. Thus, results obtained in this study show that the moringa-based edible coating may be used as a postharvest treatment to preserve the quality of fresh tomato fruit during the supply chain.
Mthembu, S., Tesfay, S.Z., Mditshwa, A. and Magwaza, L.S. (2021). Efficacy of moringa leaf extract and carboxymethyl cellulose on optimizing postharvest quality of tomato fruit (Solanum lycopersicum) harvested at different maturity stages. Acta Hortic. 1306, 309-316
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1306.39
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1306.39
physicochemical attributes, shelf-life, decay, edible coating, Star 9037
English
1306_39
309-316

Acta Horticulturae