Combined effect of heat treatment and moringa leaf extract (MLE) on colour development, quality and postharvest life of tomatoes
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is the second-most produced and consumed vegetable crop after potato, nationwide. To attract consumers, new cultivars of tomato have been developed to diversify the tomato market. Improving pre-harvest and maintaining postharvest tomato quality is increasingly challenging, particularly in developing countries. This study investigated the potential of moringa leaf extract (MLE) and hot water treatment (HWT) to extend tomato shelf life by reducing postharvest losses and maintaining overall fruit quality. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. 'Snow White' cherry tomatoes were harvested at the mature‐green stage, immediately brought to the laboratory and selected for uniformity in size, colour and freedom from defects. Fruit were divided into eight batches of 30 fruit each. The following treatments were administered before storage: HWT, two concentration of MLE, combinations of HWT and MLE at 5 and 15%. Three further batches were controls (control 1 - no treatment, control 2 - treated with 5% methanolic extract, control 3 - treated with 15% methanolic extract). All fruit were stored for 18 days at 21°C. Fruit firmness, total soluble solids (TSS), colour, pigment concentrations and shelf life were monitored over the 18-day experimental period. Treatments that included hot water had a tendency to enhance fruit colour and the production of β-carotene. Applications of MLE (5%) and MLE combined with HWT seem viable to extend 'Snow White' shelf-life and improve fruit quality, although there was no significant (P<0.05) treatment effect on TSS and firmness. This study indicates the potential of 5% MLE alone and 5% MLE combined with HWT as a postharvest treatment to improve quality and extend the shelf-life of 'Snow White' cherry tomatoes.
Ngcobo, B.L. and Bertling, I. (2021). Combined effect of heat treatment and moringa leaf extract (MLE) on colour development, quality and postharvest life of tomatoes. Acta Hortic. 1306, 323-328
tomato, hot water treatment, moringa leaf extract, postharvest loss, quality