University of California

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Minimally processed long-storage Mediterranean tomato: A novel product from traditional crops in the agrifood industry

Cristina Patanè (CNR-IVALSA, Catania, Italy), Alessandra Pellegrino(CNR-IVALSA, Catania, Italy)Laura Siracusa (CNR-ICB, Catania, Italy), Giuseppe Ruberto (CNR-ICB, Catania, Italy), Valeria Rizzo (Di3A, University of Catania, Italy), Francesco Giuffrida (Di3A, University of Catania, Italy)

The Mediterranean “long-storage” tomato, which allows an extended shelf life due to the textural properties, provides a delightful product that combines a good taste with excellent nutritional properties. Due to the high drought tolerance of the plant, long-storage tomato is traditionally cultivated under no water supply, indicating an interesting genetic source in breeding programs for water stress resistance in both fresh and processing tomatoes. Recent studies have been indicating the feasibility to obtain a new minimally processed product from local landraces of long-storage tomato, due to the low water content of fruits and the high content in bioactive constituents, including vitamin C, carotenoids, and phenols. A study has been conducted with the aim of assessing the quality of fresh-cut long-storage tomato during storage at 4 degree C as compared to a commercial cultivar of cherry tomato. All fruits were 10 min-disinfected in a sodium hypochlorite solution before cut. Long-storage tomato exhibited higher quality levels than commercial tomato throughout 14 days of storage, e.g. in terms of phenols (>80 mg/100 g), soluble solids (>7°Brix), pH (<4), and antioxidant activity (>80% inhibition). One-hour presoaking of pre-cut fruits in calcium chloride solution, relative to presoaking in citric acid solution, resulted in greater quality levels of fruits during storage. Soaking either in calcium chloride or citric acid solution was beneficial for microbial quality, when compared to relative control (soaking in distilled water) but not when compared to the overall control (no soaking after disinfection), where the overall quality of fruits was best.

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