Physical handling can have an extreme result on the postharvest quality or shelf life of harvested fruits. Poor handling during harvesting and after harvesting can result in mechanical injuries which affect quality.
Usual industrial production systems related with tomatoes may consist of mechanical harvesting, packing, sorting, grading, washing, and transporting over long distances. At each of these stages there may be major occurrence of mechanical injury which may result in bruising, scarring, scuffing, cutting, or puncturing the fruits. In small-scale production, mechanical injuries may result from the use of in proper harvesting containers.
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Tomato Injuries which are equal to or greater than the bio yield point lead to a total breakdown of the structure of the affected cells which is accompanied by unwanted metabolic activities which may include increased ethylene production, accelerated respiration rates, and ripening, which results in either reduced shelf life or poor quality. Tomatoes are sensitive to internal bruising. This circumstance becomes obvious after the tomato reaches full-red ripeness stage. It develop when tomato receive an impact above the locule during handling which results in disrupts of normal ripening in the locular gel, and at full ripening stage , the gel becomes cloudy, yellowing- green color instead of a clear and red color (Sargent, Ritenour and Brecht, 2000:1).
According to Sablani, Opera and Al-Balushi (2005:1) bruising affects the chemical alignment of injured tissue due to physiological response of tissue. It is important to handle tomato fruit with caution during harvesting process and postharvest activities to minimize mechanical injuries and avoid losses.