Common kitchen practices detrimental to tomato aroma

November 30, 2015

FORT PIERCE, FL - Aroma, which is produced by a complex mixture of volatile compounds, plays an important role in consumers' perceptions of fresh fruits and vegetables. For example, studies have shown that the familiar aroma of fresh tomatoes has diminished during the last 50 years - and less fresh tomato aroma is leading to more consumer complaints. The authors of a recent study say that not only do pre- and post-production practices such as time of harvest, use of plant growth regulators, and storage temperature/atmosphere affect tomato aroma, common kitchen practices such as refrigeration and blanching are also detrimental.

The report in HortScience is one of a series on tomato postharvest practices studies led by Jinhe Bai of the U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. "The previous two publications addressed how hot water and methyl salicylate pre-treatments alleviate chilling induced volatile loss," Bai said. "In this study, we focused on the consumer-end temperature control to provide consumers with information on how their kitchen practices influence tomato flavor quality."

The scientists used ripe red tomatoes that they divided into three treatments: refrigerated at 5 °C for 4 days, kept at 20° C for 4 days and then dipped in 50 °C hot water for 5 minutes (blanched), and the untreated control, continuously kept at 20 °C for 4 days.

Analyses showed that blanching and refrigeration of tomatoes, although common practices in home kitchens and food service operations, have a substantial impact on tomato aroma quality. "Storage of (tomato) fruit in a refrigerator or a short blanching for sanitation substantially influenced volatile profile and reduced key tomato aroma contributors," the authors said. They noted that low temperature storage resulted in a more severe impact on tomato aroma than hot water blanching.
-end-
The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/50/9/1358.abstract

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org

American Society for Horticultural Science

Related Agriculture Articles from Brightsurf:

Post-pandemic brave new world of agriculture
Recent events have shown how vulnerable the meat processing industry is to COVID-19.

Agriculture - a climate villain? Maybe not!
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that agriculture is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases, and is thus by many observers considered as a climate villain.

Digital agriculture paves the road to agricultural sustainability
In a study published in Nature Sustainability, researchers outline how to develop a more sustainable land management system through data collection and stakeholder buy-in.

Comparisons of organic and conventional agriculture need to be better, say researchers
The environmental effects of agriculture and food are hotly debated.

EU agriculture not viable for the future
The current reform proposals of the EU Commission on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are unlikely to improve environmental protection, say researchers led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Göttingen in the journal Science.

Global agriculture: Impending threats to biodiversity
A new study compares the effects of expansion vs. intensification of cropland use on global agricultural markets and biodiversity, and finds that the expansion strategy poses a particularly serious threat to biodiversity in the tropics.

A new vision for genomics in animal agriculture
Iowa State University animal scientists helped to form a blueprint to guide the next decade of animal genomics research.

New pathways for sustainable agriculture
Diversity beats monotony: a colourful patchwork of small, differently used plots can bring advantages to agriculture and nature.

The future of agriculture is computerized
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab Open Agriculture Initiative have used computer algorithms to determine the optimal growing conditions to improve basil plants' taste by maximizing the concentration of flavorful molecules known as volatile compounds.

When yesterday's agriculture feeds today's water pollution
Water quality is threatened by a long history of fertilizer use on land, Canadian scientists find.

Read More: Agriculture News and Agriculture Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.