Surface Color Changes of Tomato and Other Solanaceous Fruit during Chilling

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Vegetable Crops Department, Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853-0327

Chilling of mature-green (MG) tomato fruit (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. and related species) was investigated to determine the effect of chilling stress on surface color during low-temperature storage. Color measurements were made with a tristimulus calorimeter (L, a, b values), and data were analyzed by multivariate analysis of variance and canonical variates analysis. Changes in surface color of MG fruit during chilling were not correlated overall with relative chilling sensitivity of cultivars/lines; however, within standard and cherry types, chilling-tolerant fruit changed surface color more during chilling than chilling-sensitive fruit when fruit were picked early in the season. Early harvests were less chilling-sensitive than late harvests. The number of hours below 15.6C in the 200 hours before harvest was positively correlated with postharvest chilling sensitivity. A high vs. ambient relative humidity during storage did not affect chilling-induced percent change in color. Tobacco mosaic virus resistance led to less and Verticillium albo-strum Reinke & Berthier resistance led to more chilling-induced color change. There was no effect from resistances to Fusarium oxysporum Schlechtend f. sp. lycopersici (Sacc.) W.C. Snyder & H.N. Hans, alternaria stem canker (Alternaria solani Sorauer), anthracnose [Colletotrichun coccodes (Wallr.) S.J. Hughes], root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne hapla Chitwood), Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) deBary, or Stemphylium botryosum f. sp. lycopersici Rotem, Cohen, & Wahl. Our results show harvest date had an effect on chilling-induced changes in surface-color in MG fruit.

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