Francesco Giuffrida (Di3A, University of Catania, Italy), Carla Cassaniti (Di3A, University of Catania, Italy), Letizia Inserra (Di3A, University of Catania, Italy), Angelo Malvuccio (Di3A, University of Catania, Italy), Cristina Restuccia (Di3A, University of Catania, Italy), Cristina Patanè (CCNR-IVALSA, Catania, Italy), Cherubino Leonardi (Di3A, University of Catania, Italy)
Three typologies of tomato (round cv. ‘Ventero’, salad cv. ‘Marmalindo’, elongated cv. ‘Sir Elyan’) were minimally processed in slices or wedges and packaged in polypropylene trays (500 g each). Slices (7 mm thickness) were obtained cutting fruits perpendicularly to the main axis. For wedges, fruits were divided into 4 or 8 parts (depend on fruit diameter). At the beginning (day 0), and after 3, 6 and 9 days of storage at 4 degrees C, quality attributes (total bacterial load, colour, pericarp firmness, soluble solids, titratable acidity, dry matter, antioxidant activity, content of vitamin C, lycopene and ß-carotene) were evaluated. Concentration of CO2 and O2 into the tray were also measured. Significant interactions between fruit typology, cut and storage were observed in few quality characteristics. Fruit dry matter was highest at day 6 in slices and edges of ‘Marmalindo’, at day 3 in edges and at days 6 and 9 in slices of ‘Sir Elyan’, whereas slight differences were observed in ‘Ventero’. The same behavior was observed in soluble solids. In general, shelf-life of fresh-cut tomato was more influenced by fruit typology than cut type. Firmness in round tomato did not change with days, but decreased in salad and elongated tomato (-45% and -30% from 0 to 9 days for ‘Marmalindo’ and ‘Sir Elyan’, respectively). The highest antioxidant activity was found on ‘Ventero’ cultivar (14.4 µmol TE/g DW) and in fruit wedges (13.4 µmol TE/g DW). Significant differences were also observed in the content of vitamin C, lycopene and ß-carotene.