This study aimed at evaluating quality maintenance in cherry tomatoes covered with edible films of yam starch and glycerol. Cherry tomatoes were acquired in the region of Viçosa (State of Minas Gerais, Brazil) and carried to UFV's Centreinar Laboratory. The tomatoes were washed and sanitized, then immersed in three suspensions of yam starch and glycerol: I - 7.5% starch and 30% glycerol, II - 7.5% starch and 40% glycerol and III - 7.5% starch and 50% glycerol, beyond tomatoes that were not immersed, at an average temperature of 25°C. Later, the solution was dried at a temperature approaching environment temperature (25 ± 3°C). The tomatoes coated with film were kept in a controlled environment of 25°C and 70% relative humidity, for 18 days. We performed analyses of loss in mass, total soluble solids, total titratable acidity and firmness every other day, beyond initial and final quantification of phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity and lycopene content in the coated and uncoated tomatoes. Coating with 7.5% yam starch and 30% glycerol promoted higher stability for the loss in mass, soluble solids/total titratable acidity ratio, phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity and lycopene content in relation to the freshly harvested fruit, since it got 46 and 18% less of loss in mass and soluble solid/total titratable acidity ratio, respectively, indicating the slower maturation of the fruit. Therefore, it was efficient for preserving the shelf life and quality of the cherry tomato.
Key words: Nutritional quality, antioxidants, perishable, shelf-life, postharvest, Lycopersicum esculentum.
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