There is a general belief that the quality of tomatoes ripened on vine is better than tomatoes ripened off the vine, influencing among other parameters, the price of this commodity. We compared the quality of hydroponic tomatoes ripened on and off vine by chemical, physical, and sensory evaluation to find what attributes are affected and to what extent. Lycopene, beta-carotene, total and soluble solids, moisture content, ascorbic acid, acidity, pH, texture, and color were analyzed. Tomatoes ripened on vine had significantly more lycopene, beta-carotene, soluble and total solids, higher a* and lower L*, and were firmer. However, a 100-judge panel rated only the color and overall liking of the vine-ripened tomatoes as more intense than the fruit ripened off vine. Therefore, the chemical and physical differences were mostly not large enough to influence the panelist's perception. The characterization of tomatoes ripened on and off vine may help to guide post-harvest handling and treatment and to improve the quality of tomatoes ripened off vine.
Life Sciences (General)
Journal of food science (ISSN 0022-1147); 65; 3; 545-8