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Advances in Agriculture
Volume 2016, Article ID 6436945, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6436945
Review Article

Postharvest Handling Practices and Treatment Methods for Tomato Handlers in Developing Countries: A Mini Review

1Department of Agro-Enterprise Development, Ho Polytechnic, P.O. Box HP 217, Ho, Ghana
2Department of Agricultural Engineering, Ho Polytechnic, P.O. Box HP 217, Ho, Ghana

Received 15 March 2016; Accepted 20 April 2016

Academic Editor: Pia Parolin

Copyright © 2016 Isaac Kojo Arah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Tomato production has increased in recent years due to the economic and nutritional importance of the crop. This increase is made possible by the numerous research advances made along the entire value chain. However, scientific research has been focussed mainly on production whilst neglecting postharvest issues. Tomato producers have therefore enjoyed good harvests in recent times, though the good harvests of those from developing countries do not translate into profit as most are lost after harvest. From this study, it was revealed that the postharvest quality and shelf life of the fruit in part will depend on some postharvest handling practices and treatments carried out after harvest. Handling practices like harvesting, precooling, cleaning and disinfecting, sorting and grading, packaging, storing, and transportation played an important role in maintaining quality and extending shelf life. Using appropriate postharvest treatments like refrigeration, heat treatment, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and calcium chloride (CaCl2) application was also vital. It was concluded by this study that the quality of the harvested fruit can be maintained and shelf life extended by using appropriate postharvest handling practices and treatment methods. Failure to adhere to these practices will result in a high amount of loss.