The interaction of storage temperature and duration on aroma volatiles in tomato fruit
Forney, C.F., LeBlanc, D.I., Vigneault, C., Toussaint, V., Bourgeois, G., Clément, A. and Bezanson, G. (2018). The interaction of storage temperature and duration on aroma volatiles in tomato fruit. Acta Hortic. 1194, 343-350
Plain language summary
Maintaining good flavour and aroma of fresh tomatoes in the marketplace is critical for consumer satisfaction. However, low storage temperatures (chilling) can be detrimental to good tomato flavour. To better understand the role of temperature in flavour formation during postharvest storage and ripening of tomato, volatile compounds responsible for flavour were assessed over a range of storage temperatures and durations. Flavour compounds increased about 3-fold after 10 or more days of storage at 18°C in greenhouse grown tomatoes that were harvested at the pink ripeness stage. In contrast, no increase in flavour compounds occurred in fruit held at 1 or 10°C for 10 d. Following 3 days of storage at 1 or 10°C followed by 10 days at 20°C, flavour compounds increased in a manner similar to that of fruit held at 18°C, but concentrations of these compounds were higher. However, when fruit was held for 10 or more days at 1 or 10°C and then warmed to 20°C, they were no longer able to produce the flavour compounds found in non-chilled fruit. While tomato fruit can tolerate chilling temperatures for short durations, prolonged exposures to temperatures below 10°C should be avoided since they can inhibit tomato flavour development.
Maintaining good flavor and aroma of fresh tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit can be challenging. Storage temperature affects the synthesis of aroma volatiles and holding fruit at chilling temperatures can inhibit volatile synthesis. To gain a better understanding of the role temperature plays in volatile formation during postharvest storage and ripening of tomato, volatile profiles were assessed over a range of temperatures and storage times. Greenhouse grown tomatoes of the cultivar 'Trust' were harvested at the pink to light red stage of ripeness and held at 1, 10, 18 or 24°C and 85% RH. Fruit were sampled for volatile analysis after 0, 3, 6, 10 and 13 d. In addition, at each sampling time fruit were held for an additional 3 or 10 d at 20°C and then sampled for volatile analysis. Volatiles were analyzed from homogenized fruit tissue using headspace-GC-MS. Total volatile concentrations in tomato fruit increased about 3-fold after 10 or more days at 18°C. The most abundant volatile compounds in fruit held for 10 d at 18°C included hexanal, followed by 2-methylbutanol, E-2-hexenal, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, 3-methylbutanal, 2-isobutylthiazole, 3-methylbutanol, geranylacetone, β-ionone, and pentanal. Little change in volatile composition occurred in fruit held at 1 or 10°C for 10 d. However, when fruit held for 3 d at 1 or 10°C were warmed to 20°C for an additional 10 d, total volatile concentration increased 6- and 4-fold, respectively when compared to initial values. In addition, volatile composition was similar to that in fruit held at 18°C, but concentrations were higher. When fruit held for 10 or 13 d at 1 or 10°C were warmed to 20°C for an additional 10 d, volatile synthesis was inhibited. Fruit held at 24°C for 10 d had volatile concentrations similar to those from fruit held at 18°C. While tomato fruit can tolerate chilling temperatures for short durations, prolonged exposures to temperatures below 10°C should be avoided since they can inhibit aroma volatile synthesis and thus impact tomato flavor.