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Ripening effects on the chilling sensitivity of processing and
J. Appl. Hort., 2(2):76-78, July-December, 2000
Ripening effects on the chilling sensitivity of processing andnon-processing tomato cultivars
Department of Food Production, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. The University of the West Indies,St. Augustine. Trinidad, West Indies
Studies on the sensitivity to chilling injury (CI) of 8 processing and 8 non-processing tomato cultivars stored at the table-ripe stagewere examined. Fruits were stored for 21 days at 7oC and upon transfer to 20oC for 1 or 3 days, respectively. The low correlationcoefficient between pitting and decay suggested that these two early manifestations of CI are not significantly related. The leastsensitive tomato cultivars to CI were Advantage, Dorado and Rio Grande among the processing types and Star Pak and Walters of thenon-processing types. The least tolerance to CI were processing cultivars Caraibe and Cascade and non-processing cultivars EarlySet, Carnival and Capitan. The observed tolerance of table-ripe tomatoes mentioned above after 21 days at 7oC plus 3 days at 20oCcompared to control fruit stored continuously at 20oC for only 8 -11 days, indicates that a longer marketing period could be obtainedat tempertures lower than those currently recommended.
: Tomato, processing and non-processing cultivars, chilling injury, sensitivity
Capitan. Samples from all sixteen cultivars were ripened to table-
ripe stage, USDA score 6 (United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Assn.,
Chilling injury (CI) is an economically important postharvest
1975), at 20-22oC and 85-90% RH over 3-4 days. Measurements
problem that reduces the overall quality and marketability of many
were made on five fruits per cultivar each time, i.e.
after 21 days at
harvested fruits and vegetables indigenous to the tropics and
7oC (SRI) and upon transfer to 20oC for 1 day (SR2) or 3 days
subtropics (Couey, 1982, Saltveit and Morris, 1990; Cabrera and
(SR3), respectively. Likewise, a similar portion of fruit per cultivar
Salveit, 1992). The effect of storage temperature on chilling-
induced quality changes in tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum
The severity of pitting and decay was determined subjectively on
Mill.) varies with cultivar (Abou-Aziz et al.
, 1976), duration of
a 8-point hedonic scale as previously described (Cabrera and
storage (Hobson, 1981) and ripeness of the fruit (Autio and
Saltveit, 1992). The scoring system was 0 = no pitting or decay
Bramlage, 1986). Ripening-related changes in chilling sensitivity
(0% of the fruit surface was pitted or decayed, 2 = slight (1% to
are common among fruit species such as Honey Dew melons
5%), 4 = moderate (6% to 15%), 6 = severe (16% to 75%), and 8 =
(Lipton, 1978), mangoes (Mukerjee and Srivastava, 1979,
Mohammed and Brecht, 1999), and papayas (Nazeeb andBroughton, 1978). Most field-grown tomatoes are commercially
Resistance of the fruit to chilling injury was ranked for each cultivar
harvested at the mature-green stage and, thus, much of the previous
on a scale of 1 - 10 with 1 = most susceptible and 10 = most resistant
research on CI in tomatoes has been conducted with the mature-
(Cabrera and Saltveit, 1992). The overall quality, based on the
green fruit (King and Ludford, 1983; McColloch and Worthington
general appearance of the fruit, was measured subjectively on a 8-
1952; Buescher, 1974; Thorne and Alvarez, 1982). The objective
point hedonic scale where 0 = poor (extremely defective), 2 = fair
of this study was to investigate the chilling sensitivity of several
(defective), 4 = good (moderately defective), 6 = very good (slightly
table-ripe processing and non-processing tomato cultivars.
defective), 8 = excellent (not defective).
Brown discolouration on fruit skin indicative of chilling injury was
Materials and methods
scored on a 5-point hedonic scale where 0 = no discolouration, 1 =0- 10% discolouration, 2 = 11-20% discolouration, 3 = 21-40%
Field-grown mature-green tomatoes, (Lycopersicon esculentum
discolouration, 4 = 41-60% discolouration and 5 = >60%
Mill.) were hand-harvested at the University Field Station, Valsayn
in the dry-season (May - April) and wet-season (July - September)of 1992. Maturity of mature-green fruit was determined in the
Because of very small and insignificant differences between dry
field using subjective evaluations of fruit size, position on plant,
and wet season data, the mean for both the seasons were calculated
smootheness of fruit shoulder and by observation of locular
for each cultivar. Data were subjected to analysis of variance.
development in some representative fruit (Kader and Morris, 1975).
Eight processing cultivars, Dorado, Advantage, Peto 94C, Neema
Results and discussion
1401, Caraibe, Rio Grande, Donore and Cascade were studied.
The severity of pitting depended on cultivar, ranging from 0.0 to
The eight non-processing cultivars studied were Calypso,
6.7 in fruit stored for 21 days at 7oC and kept for an additional 1 or
Floradade, Floradel, Early Set, Star Pak, Carnival, Walters and
Chilling sensitivity of processing and non-processing tomato cultivars
3 days at 20oC (Table 1). Processing cultivars Advantage and
Although quality of the non-processing cultivars Star Pak and
non-processing cultivar Walters developed no pits after 21 days at
Walters averaged the same as the processing cultivars Dorado,
7oC, while processing cultivars Dorado, Rio Grande and Donore
Advantage, Rio Grande and Donore at SR1, quality evaluations at
and non-processing cultivar Star Pak developed slight pitting under
SR3 showed that Star Pak and Walters secured higher ratings than
the same storage conditions (Table 1). The most pitted fruits were
either of the 4 processing cultivars Advantage, Dorado, Rio Grande
Peto 94C, Cascade, Neema 1401 and Caraibe (processing) as well
as Calypso and Floradade (non-processing) with ratings being 3.4to 3.8. Likewise, non-processing cultivars Early Set, Carnival and
The correlation between pitting and decay was lower (r = 0.44)
Capitan had pits with ratings above 4.1 after 21 days at 7oC (Table
than between decay and quality (r = 0.79). However, pitting is
1). Significant increases in pitting between storage regimes SR1
more closely related to fruit resistance to chilling and degree of
and SR2 were obtained for 50% of the processing cultivars (Dorado,
brown discolouration (r = 0.90 and 0.84, respectively) than it is to
Peto 94C, Neema 1401 and Caraibe) and just 25% for non-
decay (r = 0.46). A multiple regression analysis was performed
processing cultivars Calypso and Floradel. However, between SR2
with the percent change in quality as the dependent variable and
and SR3 pitting progressed significantly for all sixteen cultivars.
pitting, decay, fruit resistance to chilling injury and degree of browndiscolouration as the independent variables. The analysis produced
Although decay followed a similar trend like pitting between each
a coefficient of determination of 0.84, which suggested that quality
storage regime (SR1, SR2 and SR3), the correlation coefficient
after chilling was not only related to pitting and decay, but also to
between pitting and decay was low and not significant (r = 0.44).
the resistance of the fruit to chilling and the incidence of brown
Decay ratings for Dorado, Advantage and Rio Grande varied
discolouration. Patches of brown stains randomly located on pitted
between 2.4 to 2.6 after 21 days at 7oC plus 3 days at 20oC with
and non-pitted areas against the red fruit skin background were
fruits showing relatively high resistance to chilling injury (CI) and
observed for those cultivars with moderate to severe chilling injury.
values ranging from 8.8-9.0 (Table 1). Similar findings were
The decline in chilling sensitivity of some of the tomato cultivars
obtained for non-processing cultivars Star Pak and Walters with
highlighted above might be due to changes in endogenous C H
decay ratings of 3.6 and chilling injury resistance scores of 9.0 -
levels. In other studies, Kader and Morris (1975) found that C H
9.1 (Table 1). Cultivars with the least resistance to chilling injury
treatment of mature-green and breaker tomatoes did not affect
were Caraibe, Cascade, Early Set, Carnival and Capitan (Table 1).
chilling sensitivity. Perhaps other hormones or the interaction of 2
Meanwhile, control fruit stored continuously at 20oC showed no
or more hormones may be involved according to arguments by
pitting nor chilling injury symptoms as expected, but nevertheless,
Autio and Bramlage (1986). On the other hand this decline in
had an abbreviated shelf life of 8-11 days depending on cultivar,
chilling sensitivity may be related to one of the many physiological
and biochemical changes that may occur during the initiation of
The high resistance to chilling injury for processing and non-
tomato ripening. Since the fruits were ripened off the plant in this
processing cultivars mentioned above is consistent with high quality
investigation, the decline might have been related to temperature
ratings from the time fruit were assessed after 21 days at 7oC (SR1)
conditioning, as has been reported for grapefruit by Hatton and
and then after 21 days at 7oC plus 3 days at 20oC (SR3) (Table 2).
Table 1. Severity of pitting, decay and resistance to chilling injury of table-ripe processing and non-processing tomato cultivars kept at 70C for
21 days (SRI) and upon transfer to 200C for 1 day (SR1) or 3 days (SR3), respectively
Decayz Resistance to
Z Pitting and decay were scored on a 8-point Hedonic scale (0 = no pitting or decay; 8 = severe pitting and decay).
Y Resistance to CI was scored on a scale of 1 = most susceptible and 10 = most resistant
Table 2. Changes in overall quality and degree of brown discolouration of table-ripe processing and non-processing tomato cultivars
kept at 7°C for 21 days (SR1) and upon transfer to 20°C for 1 day (SR2) or 3 days (SR3), respectively
Cultivar Overall qualityz Decrease in
Degree of brown discolourationY
Z Overall quality was scored on an 8-point Hedonic scale (0 = poor; 8 = excellent quality). Y Degree of brown discolouration, was measuredsubjectively on a 5-point Hedonic scale (0 = no brown discolouration; 5 = above 75% brown discolouration)
Fruit from the various processing and non-processing tomato
Hatton, T.T. and R.H. Cubbedge, 1982. Conditioning Florida grapefruit
cultivars exhibited differences in sensitivity to chilling injury as
to reduce chilling injury during low temperature storage. J. Amer.
shown in Tables 1 and 2. The variability in correlations among
the measurement of chilling sensitivity within and among these
Hobson, G.E. 1981. The short-term storage of tomato fruit. J. Hortic.
tomato cultivars indicated that their physiological andhorticultural response to chilling is complex. This is in
Kader, A.A. and L.L. Morris, 1975. Amelioration of chilling injury
symptoms on tomato fruits. HortScience
, 10: 324 (Abstr.)
agreement with Cabrera and Saltveit’s (1992) argument in earlier
King, M.M. and P.M. Ludford, 1983. Chilling injury and electrolyte
studies which postulated that breeding to reduce chilling injury
leakage in fruit of different tomato cultivar. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci
would necessitate the adoption of several approaches to
encompass the diversity of the responses mentioned.
Lipton, W.J. 1978. Chilling injury of ‘Honey Dew’ muskmelons.
Symptoms and relation to degree of ripeness at harvest. HortScience
McColloch, L.P. and J.T. Worthington, 1952. Low temperature as a factor
The authors wish to thank Mr. Sarran Harryram and Ms. Andrea
in the susceptibility of mature-green tomatoes to Alternaria
Houston for their help in field work and typing of the manuscript,
respectively. Many thanks to Caribbean Chemicals Company
Mohammed, M. and J.K. Brecht, 1999. Influence of ethylene treatments
Limited and Wyatt Company Limited for supplying seeds.
on the alleviation of chilling injury in mango (cv. Palmer). Acta Hortic.
Mukerjee, R.K. and R.B. Srivastava, 1979. Increasing the storage life of
mangoes (Mangifera indica
, L.) by lowering the critical temperature.
Abou-Aziz, A.B., S.M. El-Nataway, F.K. Adel-Wahab and A.A. Kader,
1976. The effect of storage temperature on quality and decay
Nazeeb, M. and W.J. Broughton, 1978. Storage conditions and ripening
percentage of ‘Pairi’ and ‘Taimour’ mango fruit. Sci. Hortic.
, 5: 65-
of papaya ‘Bentong and Taiping’. Sci. Hortic
., 9: 265-277.
Saltveit, M.E., Jr. and L.L. Morris, 1990. Overview of chilling injury of
Autio, W.R. and W.J. Bramlage, 1986. Chilling sensitivity of tomato
horticultural crops, p. 1-14. In: C.Y. Wang (ed.) Chilling injury of
fruits in relation to ripening and senescence. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci
horticultural crops. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla.
Thorne, S.N. and S. Alvarez, 1982. The effect of irregular storage
Buescher, R.W. 1974. Quality changes in tomatoes as affected by low
temperatures on firmness and surface colour in tomatoes. J. Sci. Food
temperature storage of unripe fruit. Arkansas Farm Res
., 23: 11-12.
Cabrera, R.M. and M.E. Saltveit Jr., 1992. Cucumber cultivars differ in
United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Assn. 1975. Colour classification
their response to chilling temperatures. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.
requirements in tomatoes. USDA Visual Aid TM-L-1. The John
Couey, H.M. 1982. Chilling injury of crops of tropical and sub-tropical
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