Postharvest losses in tomatoes are not only quantitative but also qualitative losses which directly can have a negative impact on consumer’s preference, nutritional quality and income of producers. Therefore, it is important to identify factors that can affect the postharvest quality and antioxidant composition of tomatoes. Tomato quality is an outcome of several factors including cultivar selection, environmental conditions where it grows and preharvest practices carried out during production. Preharvest practices carried out during production that affect the postharvest quality need to be considered thoroughly. Harvesting at proper maturity stage and ripening conditions are critical and must be carefully established for each cultivar. Knowledge of preharvest factors that affect the quality and antioxidant composition of tomato fruits and acquiring the skill of management can play a role on the production of best quality fruits at harvest, which in turn directly affect postharvest quality and nutritional composition. Therefore, it is of great significance to know the preharvest factors that can help to produce superior quality tomato fruits and equally important to use proper postharvest handling and management technologies, to maintain the quality and nutritional composition of the fruits after harvest. This review is therefore conducted to emphasize on some preharvest and postharvest factors that can affect the postharvest qualities, antioxidant properties and shelf life of tomatoes.
Key words: Antioxidant activity, ascorbic acid, environmental factors, lycopene, storage.
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