BACKGROUND: In recent years there has been growing interest in the influence of sustainable cultivation systems on the biochemical quality of vegetables. In this study, two genotypes of tomato, Giulianova and Perbruzzo, were grown in both organic (Or) and conventional (Conv) systems for three years and harvested at commercial ripening in each year. The Conv system was established according to traditional techniques and the Or system according to current EU regulations. Samples were evaluated for volatile substances, sugars, organic acids, dry matter, pH and lycopene.
RESULTS: During the three years, volatile substances increased in Or samples of Giulianova, while this response was less evident in Perbruzzo. Other parameters of both genotypes were not influenced by Or cultivation. Lycopene content in both Conv-cultivated genotypes was constant during the whole experimental period. In Or samples, lycopene content was lower than in Conv samples during the first and second years. In the last year, lycopene content in Or samples of Giulianova was similar to that in Conv samples, while lycopene content in Or samples of Perbruzzo was higher than that in Conv samples.
CONCLUSION: Changes in biochemical parameters of tomato fruits could be affected by both cultivation system and genotype, with a significant increase in both volatile substances and lycopene in the 2010 crop. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry