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Abstract, Asian Journal of Agricultural and Horticultural Research, 2018

The study was conducted at the Department of Horticulture, KNUST to determine the effect of ash-based storage media (plantain leaf ash, cocoa pod husk ash and coconut husk ash) on the physical quality characteristics and shelf life of three cultivars of Lebombo, Nemoneta and Pomodoro Principe tomato fruits grown in the Greenhouse at the Department of Horticulture, KNUST and stored for 6weeks at an average temperature of 27.34°C and 74.85 %RH. A Completely Randomized Design in factorial design was used with three replications. Fruit firmness, pericarp thickness, moisture content, postharvest fruit decay and shelf life were evaluated. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance at 1% using statistix version 10 statistical package tool. Significant differences (p≤0.01) were observed among the tomato cultivars stored in the different storage media used. Plantain leaf ash storage of the three tomato cultivars had firmer fruits (39.94N), thickest fruits pericarp (6.41 mm), highest moisture content (83.00%), minimum postharvest fruit decay (21.80%) and the longest shelf life (40 days) than the Control, Cocoa pod husk ash and Coconut husk ash storage. Nemoneta (35.75N) and Lebombo (34.92N) tomato fruits stored in the different storage media significantly recorded the firmest fruits as compared to Pomodoro Principe fruits (19.04N). The thickest fruits pericarp (6.11 mm) was also observed in Lebombo tomato fruits whiles the highest moisture content (83.25%), lowest postharvest decay (40.08%) and the longest shelf life (28days) was observed in Nemoneta fruits stored in the different storage media used. The study revealed that both Cocoa pod and Coconut husk ash storage of the tomato fruits were detrimental to postharvest fruit quality as it resulted in soft fruits texture, short shelf life, high moisture loss and high postharvest decay. However, Plantain leaf ash storage was best in maintaining the physical quality characteristics thus extending shelf life of the tomato fruits to 40 days.

Keywords : Antioxidants, pericarp, firmness, fruit decay, senescence and absorption