BACKGROUND: Edible coatings could be effective tools for delaying the ripening process of fruits. Alginate or zein as edible coatings were assayed in tomato in order to maintain parameters related to quality during postharvest storage.
RESULTS: Coated tomatoes showed lower respiration rate and ethylene production than control ones, with a twofold lower concentration of ethylene precursor. In addition, the evolution of parameters related to tomato quality losses, such as softening, colour evolution and weight loss, was significantly delayed (4–6 days on average) in coated tomatoes as compared to controls. Thereafter, sugars, organic acids (and especially ascorbic acid) and scores from sensory analysis remained at much higher levels at the end of storage in treated than in control tomatoes.
CONCLUSIONS: Coatings based on alginate or zein could be effective tools for delaying the tomato-ripening process during postharvest storage, and in turn maintaining tomato quality and its acceptability by consumers. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry