Extending the shelf life of tomatoes using commercial wax
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Tomato is one of the most important vegetable crops grown in Uganda and in the world. However, its production has been hindered by an array of factors, among which is lack of an affordable and readily available means of improving shelf life of tomatoes. The major objective of this study was to assess the effect of Commercial wax on the shelf life and physiochemical properties of tomato fruits harvested at green mature stage. Thirty (30) mature green tomatoes of Asira variety were harvested on 10th of August 2021, washed with clean water and disinfected with 90 % ethyl alcohol. These were laid out in a randomized complete block design with three replications in the postharvest research laboratory at the National Agricultural Research Organization Namulonge. Data collection was carried out for 10 days and at an interval of two days. Data was analyzed using GenStat analytical software version 14th edition to assess the significant difference among the six genotype’s traits and the least significant difference (LSD) test at 5 % was used for mean comparison. Treatment, storage time and the interaction of treatment and storage time did not have significant effect on PH and total soluble solids. However, waxing significantly reduced weight loss, texture deterioration and colour change. Storage time progressively increased colour change and texture deterioration. In addition, storage time and the interaction of treatment and storage time did not have significant effect on weight loss and percentage weight loss of the tomatoes. Waxing produced a higher fruit weight, lower percentage weight loss and higher fruit texture. The lowest texture was on the 10th day and also the highest colour change. Waxed 3 had the highest texture and control 10 had the highest colour change. It can be concluded that waxing improves the shelf life of tomatoes and therefore recommended to farmers and other tomato value chain actors to apply wax on harvested tomatoes so as to increase their shelf life.