Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #264065

Title: Chilling temperatures affect flavor quality

item Baldwin, Elizabeth - Liz
item Plotto, Anne
item Bai, Jinhe

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/28/2011
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Tomatoes are harvested green in Florida and gassed with ethylene, then stored at chilling temperatures. These chilled temperatures of 12-13ºC can cause a decrease in aroma. Green fruit are more susceptible to chilling injury (CI) which manifests as a pitting of the peel through which decay organisms can enter, and thus CI results in more decay. However, CI also manifests itself internally as a loss of aroma volatiles, especially the C-6 aldehydes, which are important to tomato flavor. Several studies have shown that commercial chilling temperatures for tomato result in flavor loss. Studies were done at this laboratory and others showing the reduced levels of aroma volatiles, and the reduction in enzyme activity and gene expression of relevant enzymes. The ripening inhibitor, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), which is sold commercially as Smart Fresh by AgroFresh Inc., was used to allow the harvesting of tomatoes with color and storage of tomatoes at higher (non-chilling) temperatures which resulted in less CI and subsequently better quality due to less loss of flavor.