Accumulation and stability of tomato lycopene markedly depends on the cultivar, plant growing and storage conditions. To estimate lycopene in open‐field cultivated processing and fresh market tomatoes, we used a calibrated spectral reflectance portable sensor.
Lycopene accumulation in fruits attached to the plant, starting from the Green ripening stage, followed a sigmoidal function. It was faster and reached higher levels in processing (cv. Calista) than fresh market (cv. Volna) tomatoes (90 and 62 mg kg−1 fresh weight, respectively). During storage at 12, 20 and 25 °C, Red tomatoes retained about 90% of harvest lycopene for three weeks. Pink tomatoes increased lycopene during the first week of storage, but never reached the lycopene values of Red tomatoes ripened on the vine. Storability at 12 °C retaining the highest quality in red tomatoes was limited to 14 and 7 days for Calista and Volna cultivars, respectively.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.