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Food Chem. 2013 Aug 15;139(1-4):825-36. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.01.038. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Home conservation strategies for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum): storage temperature vs. duration--is there a compromise for better aroma preservation?

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INRA, UMR408 Sécurité et Qualité des Produits d'Origine Végétale, F-84000 Avignon, France.


Expression of dissatisfaction with tomato aroma prompted us to lead this study on the impact of domestic storage conditions on volatile compounds. Two storage modalities (20 and 4°C) and two cultivars (Levovil and LCx) were used. Volatile compounds were analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry detection after accelerated solvent extraction. Physical characteristics, lipoxygenase activity, hydroperoxide lyase activity; linoleic acid and linolenic acid were monitored. Storing tomatoes at 4°C induced a drastic loss in volatiles, whatever their biosynthetic origin. After 30 days at 4°C, the concentration of volatiles had decreased by 66%. Reconditioning for 24 h at 20°C was able to recover some aroma production after up to 6 days storage at 4°C. Volatile degradation products arising from carotenoids and amino acids increased when tomatoes were kept at 20°C, while lipid degradation products did not vary. Storing tomatoes at fridge temperature, even for short durations, was detrimental for their aroma. This should be taken into account to formulate practical advice for consumers.

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