G. Findley, F.M. Woods, D.E. Conner, C. Mosjidis, S.J. Weese, C.A. Sundermann, and C.I. Wei
Low-dose gamma-irradiation is becoming increasingly an attractive viable technology for control of food-borne pathogens and extension of shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Typically, gamma-irradiation treatment appears to transiently stimulate ethylene synthesis in tomato, which appears to be stress associated, and dose dependent (Larrigaudie et al., 199l). We have investigated the effects of gamma-irradiation treatment at doses of 0, 0.5, 0.75, and 1.0 kGy, alone and in combination with water-based chemical treatment for improving the storage of tomato maintained at 20 °C and 95% RH for 20 days of storage. Changes in ethylene, ascorbic acid and total antioxidant content, color, total soluble solids and carbohydrate concentration were examined. Our preliminary results indicate that these treatments are effective in reducing ethylene concentration in storage while providing a means of eliminating foodborne pathogens without adversely affecting tomato quality.