Postharvest Quality of Commercial Tomato (Lycopersicon Esculentum Mill.) Fruits Brought into Yenagoa Metropolis from Northern Nigeria

Ebimieowei Etebu, Ebideseghabofa Enaregha


Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, and accounts for about 18% of the average daily consumption of vegetables in Nigeria. However, tomato production in Nigeria is bedeviled with postharvest losses arising from improper handling during storage and transportation. Tomato sold in Bayelsa State of Nigeria is mostly received from the northern regions of the country, but the qualities of fruits that come to the State have not been studied. Hence in this study, the Postharvest quality of tomato fruits conveyed into three markets in Yenagoa metropolis, Bayelsa State, Nigeria was assessed. Results showed that only 25.09% of fruits were completely devoid of disease and damage. Whilst 15.04% of the total fruits assessed had physiological disorders, spoilage due to biotic causes accounted for as much as 59.28% of the total fruits. Weighted mean percentage incidence of fruits with soft/sour rot was (34.43%), and were significantly (P ? 0.05) higher than alternaria rot (7.76%), buckeye rot (5.87%), anthracnose rot (0.69%) and rhizopus rot (0.16%). Differences in the number of fruits with alternaria, buckeye, anthracnose and rhizopus rots were not significant at P=0.05. Although plant pathogens are generally not pathogenic on humans, they could potentially cause disease in humans with compromised immune system. It is therefore advisable to properly cook tomato fruits before consumption, and only healthy fruits are recommended for recipes, such as salad, that may not require cooking before consumption, while studies aimed at minimizing postharvest spoilage are constantly pursued.

Keywords: Tomato, Fungi, Bacteria, Postharvest disease, Physiological disorder

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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