The experiment was conducted between August and September in 2009 at the laboratories of the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich in the UK to assess the effects of physical impact and storage temperature on ethylene production and quality of tomatoes. A total of 72 red-ripe fruits of the ‘encore variety’ were used for the experiment. Half (36) were dropped individually from a height of 1 m to simulate rough handling while the remaining half were not dropped. The fruits were then kept in sealed glass jars (six fruits per jar) and stored in two incubators set at 12 and 20°C respectively. This was a 22 factorial in a randomised complete block design with three replications. Ethylene production, respiration, ripening and weight loss increased significantly at 20°C with means of 7.85 µl/kg/h, 13.8 mlCO2/kg-h, 16.80 and 97.08%, respectively. However, there was no significant effect of temperature on fruit firmness. Undamaged fruits were slightly firmer with an average of 51.09 while the damaged ones were fewer firms and had an average of 41.14.
Key words: Ethylene, photovac explorer, tristimulus, respiration, carbon dioxide, firmness.
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