Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum P. Miller) compression due to "K" wood box closing
Ciência e Agrotecnologia
Wood boxes kind "k" are the most used in table tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum P. Miller) commercialization in Brazil. Due to the fruit accommodation process that occurs during the transport from the production place to the commercialization point, producers fill tomato boxes a little bit over its physical capacity, and they close it with wood strips fixed with nails. In order to prevent strips from cracking, it is common to keep them inside water before using, to increase flexibility. When
... exibility. When boxes are opened, many fruits are cracked or kneaded in a significant part of their total area, and normally they are thrown away. The purpose of this paper was to quantify the compression tomato fruits are exposed to in consequence of the "k" box fill / closing system. For this study a special instrumented box was constructed with a scales plate located at the bottom, with a hydraulic load cell instrumented in the box. This instrument was then used to study the compression of fruits as the box is filled and the compression increase caused by the addition of its wooden lid. The "k" box closing system caused an initial compression increase 3.5 times the compression of the open tomato box, and during time as the fruits are substantially deformed. This compression was reduced two about two times de initial reference value. The consequence of this observed fruit compression is compatible with the fruit deformations and even cracks observed in the market, which are known to be relevant post harvest losses causes in the Brazilian tomato handling industry.