Influence of the Storage Conditions on the Physicochemical Properties, Antioxidant Activity and Microbial Flora of Different Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) Cultivars

Ana F. Vinha, Sérgio V. P. Barreira, Ana Castro, Anabela Costa, M. Beatriz P. P. Oliveira


This study intended to evaluate the influence of different postharvest cooling conditions in the physicochemical, antioxidant activity and microbiological contamination of tomato cultivars namely: Cereja, Chucha, Rama and Redondo. Pink fruits were kept for 15 days under three different storage temperatures (6ºC, 12ºC and 25ºC) during which their weight loss, total soluble solids, pH, color, titrable acidity, lycopene and ascorbic acid contents, total phenolics and antioxidant activity were evaluated every three days. Counts of colony forming units of coliform bacteria, yeasts and molds and the presence of Escherichia coli, were determined before and after 15 days of storage. All studied parameters revealed that temperature and storage duration caused statistically significant differences in nutritional values of every cultivar. It was observed an increase in the lycopene concentration and antioxidant activity with temperature and storage duration. The phenolic and ascorbic acid contents showed a slight increase during storage at every temperature. Microbial contamination was only found in cultivars that grew in direct contact with the soil (Chucha and Redondo) and bacterial population increased exponentially with storage temperature. Our results indicate that the ideal temperature to maintain optimal physiological, biochemical and microbiological profiles of the cultivars studied is 12ºC and that the cv. Rama fruit is the most suited for consumption in natura.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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