Low oxygen storage alleviates chilling injury in cherry tomatoes

F.Y. Affandi*, M. Shiri, E.J. Woltering, R.E. Schouten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruits are susceptible to chilling injury (CI) at temperatures below 12°C and consequently, have limited possibility to benefit from low temperature storage to prolong shelf-life and maintain quality. Controlled atmosphere storage likely inhibits CI by restricting oxygen availability for peroxidation of cell membrane lipids and maintaining low oxidative stress. We aimed to find oxygen concentrations that reduce CI after low temperature storage. To achieve this, cherry tomatoes of two maturities (mature green, MG; and red, R) were stored in 2.5, 5 or 21% O2 combined with 0% CO2 for 14 days at 2°C, followed by shelf-life of 14 days at 20°C. As a control, tomatoes were also stored at 12°C under regular atmosphere. To assess the extent of chilling injury, tomatoes were evaluated for colour development, firmness behaviour and decay during shelf-life. Effects of CA storage were more beneficial for MG tomatoes, showing less decay compared to non-chilled and chilled MG tomatoes stored at 21% O2. MG tomatoes stored in 5% O2 showed the best results: delayed softening (about 10 days) and red coloration (about 5 days) compared to non-chilled tomatoes with no decay during shelf-life. R tomatoes stored in 5% O2 showed the least decay and softening. In conclusion, chilling tolerance can be induced by CA storage in 5% O2, resulting in low decay while allowing for delayed softening but full colouration of MG tomatoes during shelf-life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalActa Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024


  • chilling injury
  • low oxygen storage
  • tomato fruits


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