Tomato(Lycopersicum esculentum).It is a vegetable crop popularly consumed in Bangladesh. It is a commonly used for table consumption in fresh form or as an ingredient in many cooked dishes .Tomato is a good for human nutrition since it is a source of vitamins C,A&K & carotenoids.which act as antioxidants.
Importance of post harvest handlings
Proper post harvest handling is important in maintaining the quality & insuring safety of the fruit.
While being brought to consumer on time, and in meeting buyers specification and trade requirements.
Characterstics of tomato fruit Affecting post harvest Life
Tomato fruits undergo programmed changes
Tomato fruit being a living tissue is subject to continous change.
Process of ageing and eventual dying in living tissues is called senescence.
There are programmed change inside the fruit that influence appearance flavour, textrure & nutritive value that cause them to age.
Tomato fruits lose water
Tomato fruits consist mainly of water and when harvested.
It can no longer replace the water it loss.
Water conditions like high temperature and low relative humidity result in water it loss.
Harvest Management Practices
Tomatoes can be harvested at any stage of maturity and the distance from the production site.
To the consumption area should be considered.
Tomatoes are ready for harvest as soon as they are mature but still green.
Immature fruits when picked fail to develop.
Full colour and flavour and deteriorates easily.
Time of harvesting
pick tomatoes the cooler part of the day.
It is recommended to harvest up to moon time.
Keep the harvested fruits in shaded area soon after picking.
Cleaning & Washing
Tomatoes can also be cleaned by wiping them moist cloth .
Insure however that water & cloth used in wiping the fruit are clean to prevent contaminating the fruit.
Sorting / Grading
Good quality tomatoes generally preferred by buyers ,sorting /grading is a necessary operation .
After harvest the tomatoes are arbitrarily classified as class A, or class B. The names of the grades are determined or specified by the buyer.
Proper packaging is essential in maintaining product quality during transport & subsequent handling.
Plastic bags ,plastic sack,red mesh bags do not provide adequate protection to the contents.
Tomatoes packed in rigid plastic creates thus providing adequate protection to its contents.
Consideration in the use of plastic areas
Hygine plastic crates should be throughly cleaned with soap.
Sanitizer such as sodium hypochlorite reduce microbial load in plastic crate.
Store in a clean area that will prevent hardborage of insects & rodents.
Don't use as storage contain for chemicals if used for fresh procedure.
The main objective in transport will arrive in top quality condition to the final market. Undergo 3 Stages:
Clean plastic crates after use.
Bad practice in the use of plastic crate as seat.
Handle containers gently they should not be dropped or thrown on to each other.
Handling At Wholesale & Retail Markets
The wholesale & retail markets serve as the outlets of tomato farmers.