Assessment of Locally Produced Waxing Materials on the Shelf Life and Quality of Tomato Fruits (Solanum lycopersicum) (Published)
The work was done to assess the effectiveness of locally produced waxing materials on the quality of tomato fruits. The experiment was performed in the Chemistry Laboratory of the Department of Food and Postharvest Technology, in the Koforidua Technical University. Materials that were used for the experiment is the Power Rano variety of tomato and four (4) waxing materials (shea butter, cassava starch, beeswax, and a combination of the three (shea butter + cassava starch + beeswax) and a control. Data on randomly selected fruits in each treatment per replication was recorded at four different days: 7, 14, 21 and 28 days of storage during the experiment. The following quality indices were measured: Weight loss (%), Total soluble solids (TSS), Total titrable acidity (TTA), and Shelf life of fruit. The data collected on the laboratory experiments and sensory evaluation were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and the means were separated using Duncan multiple range of test at 5%. Results from the work indicated that, treating tomato fruit with wax was effective in preserving the fruit. All waxing treatments delayed the development of weight loss, firmness, pH, total soluble solids, and total titrable acidity of fruits. It was concluded that edible wax coatings delayed the ripening process and colour development of tomato fruits during the storage period and extended the shelf life. However, it is recommended that there should be sensitization on the use of locally produced wax to extend the shelf life of tomato for consumers and further work should be done on the economics analysis of waxing tomatoes.