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Don't refrigerate tomatoes for better aroma

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Studies have shown that the familiar fresh aroma of tomatoes has diminished during the last 50 years - and less fresh tomato aroma is leading to more...

New York: Studies have shown that the familiar fresh aroma of tomatoes has diminished during the last 50 years - and less fresh tomato aroma is leading to more consumer complaints.

Aroma, which is produced by a complex mixture of volatile compounds, plays an important role in consumers' perceptions of fresh fruits and vegetables.

According to the researchers not only do pre and post-production practices such as time of harvest, use of plant growth regulators and storage temperature/atmosphere affect tomato aroma, common kitchen practices such as refrigeration and blanching are also detrimental.

For the study, scientists used ripe red tomatoes divided into three treatments: refrigerated at five degree Celsius for four days, kept at 20 degree Celsius for four days and then dipped in 50 degree Celsius hot water for five minutes (blanched), and the untreated control, continuously kept at 20 degree Celsius for four days.

They noted that low temperature storage resulted in a more severe impact on tomato aroma than hot water blanching.

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