The firmness of stored tomatoes (cv. Tradiro). 2. Kinetic and Near Infrared models to describe pectin degrading enzymes and firmness loss

C. van Dijk, C.G. Boeriu, T. Stolle-Smits, L.M.M. Tijskens

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Tomatoes (cv. Tradiro), harvested at two maturity stages, were stored at four different temperatures during up to four weeks. The lowest storage temperature was known to cause chilling injury, the three other temperatures were regarded save. During storage Near Infrared spectra of intact tomatoes were recorded and samples were taken at regular time intervals to determine the activities of the pectolytic enzymes polygalacturonase, pectin methyl esterase and ß-galactosidase. The maturity stage of the tomatoes at harvest, followed by storage at the four different temperatures affects the activities of these enzymes. To describe the change in activity of these enzymes kinetic models were built based on fundamental laws of chemical kinetics using assumed, but plausible reaction mechanisms. For the models developed, a fixed and a variable enzyme activity were observed for these three enzymes. For polygalacturonase, this fixed amount of enzyme activity was dependent on maturity stage at harvest. For pectin methyl esterase and ß-galactosidase the maturity at harvest had almost no effect on this fixed amount of enzyme activity. The variable part of the enzyme activity could either increase in time (polygalacturonase), followed by denaturation (ß-galactosidase), or only decay in time (pectin methyl esterase). For the activity of polygalacturonase, a self-initiated, autocatalytic production of this enzyme was assumed. ß-Galactosidase was formed, but inactivated in time. Pectin methyl esterase activity decayed exponentially in time. The models for polygalacturonase and ß-galactosidase were integrated into the previously developed model for the firmness loss of tomatoes during storage [Van Dijk, C., Boeriu, C., Peter, F., Stolle-Smits, T., & Tijskens, L. M. M. (2005). The firmness of stored tomatoes (cv. Tradiro). 1. Kinetic and Near Infrared models to describe firmness and moisture loss. Journal of Food Engineering]. It was concluded that any cell wall degrading enzyme, which activity remains within a certain bandwidth, can be integrated into the firmness model to explain the observed firmness decay
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-593
JournalJournal of Food Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • potatoes solanum-tuberosum
  • methyl esterase
  • polygalacturonase activity
  • genes
  • texture
  • peaches
  • fruit


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