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Effectiveness of evaporative cooling technologies to preserve the postharvest quality of tomato

Research Paper | August 1, 2018

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Fred N. Manyozo, Jane Ambuko, Margaret J. Hutchinson, J. F. Kamanula

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Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.13( 2), 114-127, August 2018


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A research was conducted during dry and rainy seasons to assess the effectiveness of evaporative cooling technologies (ECT) namely; Evaporative Charcoal Cooler (ECC), Zero Energy Brick Cooler (ZEBC) and Pot-in-Pot cooler to preserve postharvest quality and extend shelf-life of tomato under storage in Malawi. A homogenous sample of freshly harvested tomato fruits were divided into four similar batches and stored in ECC, ZEBC, Pot-in-Pot and ambient conditions (control) for 24 days. Changes in Temperature, Relative humidity, Physiological Weight loss(PWL), Firmness, wilting, color, vitamin Cand total cost of producing the evaporative cooling technologies were determined for 24 days in both seasons. Shelf-life was determined bycounting number of days taken to reach the last stage of ripening up to the stage when they remained marketable. A 2°C -16°Ctemperature reduction and 24%-42.59% increase in relative humidity were observed between ambient and ECT storage in both seasons. After 24 days, ambient stored tomato lost 25.2% and 18.85% of their initial weight in season 1and 2 respectively, lowest losses were recorded in Pot-in-Pot (5.2%) and ZEBC (5.15%)in season 1 and 2. EC technologies significantly reduced losses in firmness, wilting and color compared to ambient storage in both seasons. The shelf-life of ambient stored tomato was 10 and 12 days in season 1and 2 respectively, compared to 24 days for Pot-in-Pot stored tomato, the highest in both seasons. ECC recorded high construction costs. In conclusion, evaporative cooling technologies preserved postharvest quality and increased shelf-life of tomato under storage.


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