We investigated the effects of low oxygen storage on chilling injury development, colour development, respiration and H2O2 levels of ‘Merlice’ tomatoes cultivated with and without far red (FR) LED lighting during 20 days of shelf-life. Mature green (MG) and red (R) tomatoes were stored at 2 °C in combination with 0.5, 2.5, 5 and 21 kPa O2 for 15 days (experiment 1). MG tomatoes cultivated under either white LED or white LED light with FR LED light were stored at 2 °C in combination with 1, 5 and 21 O2 kPa for 14 days (experiment 2). Chilled MG and R tomatoes from experiment 1 showed decay, firmness loss and higher weight loss during shelf-life which were reduced under low oxygen conditions. FR during cultivation improved chilling tolerance of MG tomatoes. Fastest colour development and lowest respiration rate during shelf-life were observed for MG fruit cultivated with FR lighting prior to storage at 1 kPa O2/0 kPa CO2. H2O2 levels during the shelf-life were not affected during cold storage. The improved cold tolerance of MG tomatoes cultivated with FR lighting is likely due to lower oxygen uptake that led to both higher lycopene synthesis and less softening.
- Chilling injury
- Controlled atmosphere