Journal article Open Access
Eboibi, O.,; Akpokodje, O. I.; Nyorere, O.; Oghenerukevwe, P.; Uguru, H.
This study investigated the effect of maturity stage on the textural-chemical properties of fresh tomatoes (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) fruits. Seven tomato cultivars (Ibadan local, Beske, Tropimech, UC82B, Kelvin, Nadira and Roma) were harvested at three maturity stages namely; breaker, pink and ripe red. The textural qualities (firmness, springiness, adhesiveness, chewiness, stringiness and gumminess) of the tomato fruits were measured using the Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBS) method. The chemical properties (pH and electrical conductivity) of the fruits were measured by pH and electrical conductivity meters. Results of the texture profile analysis showed that tomato fruits exhibited a strong dependence on the degree of maturity of the fruits at harvest. All the textural qualities determined decrease as the fruits matured from the breaker stage to the ripe red stage. From the results, the Tropimech tomato fruits had the highest average skin firmness and springiness of 53.16 N and 1.101 respectively, while UC82B tomato fruits had the highest average adhesiveness of 21.47 N.s. The results further showed that breaker tomato fruits exhibited the highest electrical conductivity values than those corresponding to pink and red ones. However, the red tomato fruits exhibited the highest pH values than their corresponding to breaker and pink ones. The average electrical conductively ranged between 0.464 S/m and 0.438 S/m; while the average pH of the tomato fruits ranged between 3.75 and 4.89. The results showed variations in the textural qualities and chemical properties among the seven tomato cultivars studied.