Published in “Biology and Life Sciences Forum” -  In various parts of India, tomatoes are grown using eco-friendly indigenous organic manures prepared from cow products, for sustainable food production by small and marginal farmers. The main objective of the study was to compare the postharvest quality characteristics and storability between organically grown tomatoes using indigenous organic manures and those grown conventionally. The organic (OT) and conventional (CT) tomatoes procured from selected farms were observed for 28 days at ambient and refrigerated storage conditions. The postharvest quality characteristics and storability of tomatoes were assessed at the interval of 0, 7, 14, 21, 28 days and observed till senescence. Physiological loss of weight (PLW), total soluble solids (TSS), titratable acidity (TA), pH, colour, lycopene, ascorbic acid content, respiration rate and microbial stability were assessed to determine the postharvest quality and storability of OT and CT respectively. The study revealed that organic tomatoes stored at refrigerated condition had lower physiological loss of weight (2.78%), respiration rate (27.61 µLCO2g -1h-1 ) and loss in firmness (27.14%) compared to conventional tomatoes indicating the higher storability and delayed senescence. The titratable acidity showed a decreasing trend while pH increased significantly for both samples stored at ambient and refrigerated conditions. A slower rate of increment in redness and chroma values were observed for OT at refrigerated storage condition compared to ambient temperature. Ascorbic acid content was also found to be significantly higher in OT (23.53 mg/100g) compared to CT (13.85 mg/100g). Additionally, the result showed increased lycopene content in CT during storage compared to OT. Microbial study revealed that total aerobic mesophilic count and yeasts-molds was highest in CT on 28thday of storage. Therefore, the study revealed that OT at refrigerated storage condition had superior postharvest quality, storability and longevity compared to CT which may be due to sustained release of nutrients and useful elements from liquid organic manures and their uptake by plants.

Alisha Pradhan, Mupparapu Srijaya