Sensory Quality of Cherry Tomatoes in Relation to 1-MCP Treatment and Storage Duration
Abstract1-MCP (1-methylcyclopropene), the ethylene receptors blocker, is used in horticultural practice for prolonging shelf-life of several species of fruits and vegetables. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of 1-MCP treatment on sensory characteristics of cherry type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L. var. cerasiforme) after 4-week storage. In the experiment the fruits were harvested at pink and light-red fruit stages (3rd and 5th stage, according to USDA classification), and stored for 3 and 4 weeks at 12 oC, then moved to 20 sup>oC for 2 days to obtain marketable maturity. 1-MCP was applied after harvest in concentration of 1 ppm, for 12 hours at 18 oC. The plants belonging to the Dasher F1 cultivar were grown in a greenhouse in rockwool slabs and fruits were harvested in June. Sensory analysis was performed in expert panel with Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA), using 12 sensory descriptors concerning smell, taste, flavour and texture of the fruits. Also semi-consumer test of liking was carried out. As the control freshly harvested red fruits at optimal consumer's maturity were used. The 1-MCP treated fruits harvested in the light-red stage were of better sensory quality than the untreated ones, similar to freshly harvested, but in the case of the pink fruits, the quality was rated lower. It can be concluded that 1-MCP treatment was effective in delaying ripening of the fruits by better keeping their firmness and colour, however in the case of fruits harvested in earlier stage, overall sensory quality and consumer acceptance was scored lower than for the freshly harvested ones, mainly due to more intensive sour taste and lower sweetness.
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