Effect of different packaging materials on shelf life and postharvest quality of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum var. Srijana)
- modified atmosphere,
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Tomatoes, being highly perishable, experience extreme post-harvest losses due to improper packaging materials. Experimentation was done to investigate the effect of different packaging materials on shelf life and quality traits of tomato var. Srijana at the horticulture laboratory of the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Lamjung Campus under a completely randomized design. Seven treatments viz. no packaging (control), unperforated low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bag, perforated (4 holes of 2 mm) LDPE bag, unperforated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bag, perforated HDPE bag, unperforated non-woven fabric bag, and perforated non-woven fabric bag with 3 replications were used. Tomatoes were evaluated for weight loss, color development, total soluble solids, titratable acidity, pH, and shelf life. Among the treatments, the lowest percentage of weight loss (0.66%) was observed on tomatoes packed in an unperforated HDPE bag, however, it had a higher fungus attack. No packaging group showed rapid shriveling of fruits with the highest percentage of weight loss (14.70%). Although packaging in a non-woven fabric bag was better than control, it showed a higher percentage of weight loss than plastic packaging due to its high permeability to gases and water vapor. The TSS and pH values were found to be higher and TA to be lower in no packaging compared to other packagings. The longest shelf life of tomatoes was observed in perforated LDPE (24 days), followed by HDPE (23 days) whereas the lowest was observed in control (16 days). Overall, the perforated plastic packaging was found best among all treatments with no significant variation among perforated HDPE and perforated LDPE for maintaining qualities of tomatoes and longer shelf life.