Quality parameters of tomatoes submitted to different doses of gamma radiation

Abstract Ionizing radiation can be used for different purposes in the food industry. In this study, the effect of irradiation doses (0, 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 kGy) on the quality parameters of long life tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), was evaluated during 4 storage periods (1, 7, 14 and 21 days). The different treatments were evaluated by analysing for colour, pH, total soluble solids (TSS), total titratable acidity (TTA), ratio (TSS/TTA), hardness, total lycopene and ascorbic acid contents, weight loss and maturation stage (O2 /CO2 ratio) for all the storage periods. The tomato samples were irradiated in a Co60 irradiator and maintained at 22 °C ± 1 °C. The quality of the tomato fruits was influenced by the gamma radiation basically by making the fruits softer and not degrading the ascorbic acid and lycopene contents at the doses evaluated. The irradiation process used in the doses evaluated was promising with respect to maintaining the quality parameters of long life tomatoes.