Nutrient and salinity concentrations effects on quality and storability of cherry tomato fruits grown by hydroponic system
ABSTRACT This study was conducted to investigate the effects of nutrient and salinity concentrations on the quality of deepflow technique hydroponic system cultivated cherry tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill ‘Unicorn’). The conditions were: (1) control (NS-1 × nutrient Solution, Electrical Conductivity – EC: 2.5 mS∙cm–1); (2) 2 × NS (2 × NS-Double NS, EC: 5 mS∙cm–1); (3) NS + 4.23 mM NaCl (NaCl-Sodium Chloride, EC: 5 mS∙cm–1); and (4) NS + 13.70 mM Sea Water – SW (EC: 7.5 mS∙cm–1). NS + 13.70 mM SW treatment showed the lowest fresh weight loss. Visual quality as well as shelf life was the longest in NS (1 × nutrient solution) treated tomato fruits. The longest shelf life at 5 °C, 11 °C, and 24 °C were 21, 16, and 8 days, respectively, in NS (1 × nutrient solution) treated tomato fruits. The highest firmness was recorded in NS (1 × nutrient solution) treated tomato fruits, which was retained after storage. Moreover, NS + 13.70 mM SW treatment increased the cherry tomato fruit’s quality, especially soluble solids and sugar contents. These results indicate that salinity concentration has effect the soluble solids and sugar of cherry tomato fruits. In addition, nutrient concentration influenced the shelf life and firmness of cherry tomato fruits.