Submitted to: American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2007
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In Florida, tomatoes are harvested green and stored at low temperature (13 C) resulting in poor flavor. Flavor improvement might be achieved if fruit were harvested with color and/or stored at higher temperature with the aid of 1-MCP. The effect of 1-MCP, harvest maturity and storage temperature on tomato flavor and texture was evaluated for volatiles, solids (SS), acids (TA) and firmness. 'Florida 47' tomatoes were harvested at the breaker (BR), turning (TR) and pink (PK) stages, treated or not with 1-MCP (+/- MCP) and stored at 13 or 18 C to compare with green (GR) fruit after ripening. BR (+/- MCP) fruit stored at 18 C exhibited higher SS/TA, a* values and volatiles. (+MCP) fruit had higher SS, hue and a* values and generally lower volatiles than (-MCP). Riper-harvested fruit had higher SS/TA and volatiles. Since there were minimal differences between BR, TR and PK tomatoes, a second experiment compared BR tomatoes (+/- MCP), stored at 18 C, or 13 C for 6 days then ripened at 18 C, with GR and immature green (IG) tomatoes stored 7 days at 13 C, ethylene treated and ripened at 18 C (commercial conditions). Fruit stored continuously at 18 C showed higher hue and IG fruit exhibited lower hue and higher SS/TA while (+MCP) fruit were highest and lowest for hue and SS/TA, respectively. There was no consistent pattern for effect of temperature, harvest maturity or 1-MCP on volatile levels. BR fruit were generally softer and GR/IG fruit firmer with no consistent effect of 1-MCP. Harvesting tomatoes with color (+MCP) stored at 13 C resulted in better overall quality than IG fruit stored under commercial conditions, with shelf life similar to GR fruit. This was confirmed by a sensory study.