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International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056
Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072
© 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 867
Development of Effective Tomato Package for Post-Harvest
Preservation
Onwuzuruigbo, Johnson U.1, Okonkwo Ugochukwu C.2
1,2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Nigeria.
---------------------------------------------------------------------***---------------------------------------------------------------------
Abstract - This study evaluated the effects of chemical
content on packaged materials on fresh tomato. The study
was carried out by using kraft paperboardtodesigna package
with different numbers of holes, back cover of polyethylene
and some without holes. The packages were designed to
contain about twenty five pieces of average sized tomatoes on
one row arrangement. The packages consist of six packages
and a control without packaging named M, N, O, P, Q, R and S
respectively. These packages were distinguished with some
having varied number of holes, covered with polyethyleneand
a control without hole nor covering. Tomatoes (Solanum
Lycopersicum) were packaged in these packages for sixteen
days to ascertain their physiologicalweightloss, percentage of
decay, chemical interaction with the packaging materialsand
overall shelf life for each package, reading was taken at
intervals of four days. The data obtained were analyzed using
analysis of variance and means of different parameters were
compared by least significant difference (LSD). The result
revealed that packaging had a significant effect on
physiological weight loss, percentage of decay, chemical
interaction of the packaging material and overall shelf life.
The least physiological weight loss of 0.00% was recorded on
package N for the fourth day and the highest physiological
weight loss of 22.22% on package S on the sixteenth day. For
the first four days, none of the tomatoes decayed in all the
packages but on the sixteenth day, package N had the least
percentage decay of 8.00% with package P having the highest
percentage of decay of 53.85%. Theinteractionofthechemical
content of the tomato and the packaging material to the rate
of decay showed that there is significant difference between
the interactions (P 0.05). The following elements –
Aluminum, Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, Silicon and Tin – present
in the packaging material proved to be poisonous when
tomatoes decayed in the packaging material. The shelf life of
20 days was observed in package N while other packages had
15 days. It can be concluded that packaging of fresh tomato
with kraft paperboard of eight holes of 35mm each resulted in
longer shelf life and least rate of decay.
Key Words: Fresh, tomato, Packaging,Physiological,weight,
shelf-life.
1. INTRODUCTION
The shelf life of a fresh tomato is the duration from
harvesting a matured tomato to a day before spoiling.
Temperature is a very important factor that affects the shelf
life of a tomato. At a temperature of 50C, tomato respire
moderately between 10 – 20 MgC02/Kg – hr while at a
temperature of 70C tomato can have a shelf life of uptothree
weeks (21 days) (Package India, 1998). In the study of Dario
et al, (2018) on the chemistry behind tomato quality, they
confirmed that tomato contains volatile and non – volatile
chemical substances. Some of them include: ethers,
aldehydes, ketones, fatty acid derivatives, amino acid
derivatives, terpenoids, sugars, umami compounds,
carotenoids and polyphenols. Thesechemicalsintomatocan
react with other chemicals used to extend the shelf life of
tomato or chemical contents of tomato packages. In the
study of Gherezi et al (2012) and Anyasi et al (2016) to
extend the shelf life of tomato with chemicals, they
succeeded without testing theeffectsofthosechemicalsthey
used. Some of the chemicals they used are boric acid
(H3BO3), calcium chloride (CaCl2), and potassium tetra Oxo-
manganese (KMnO4).
In Nigeria, tomato is cultivated in many parts of the country.
It thrives well in Savanna agro-channel zone with less pest
and diseases of tomato. Major producing areas lies between
latitude 7.50N and 130N and within a temperature range of
250C – 340C. The states in this categories are Jigawa,Kastina,
Zamfra, Sokoto, Kaduna, Bauchi,Gombo,Taraba,andKanoin
the northern part of the country. It can also be grown in
southern states like Delta,Kwara andOyo(Agronews,2016).
Tomato is a vegetable with high content of water which
makes it to have a very short shelf life when exposed to high
temperature. In its season, it is produced in abundance
which needs to be kept fresh for consumption. To do this,
packaging of fresh tomato is one of the best option.
According to (Raheem, 2012), packaging material could be
either rigid or flexible. Rigid packaging materials are not
easily moved out of their position. Some examples include
glass, plastics, jars, cans pottery, wooden boxes, drums, tins
and tubes. Flexible packaging is a major group of materials
that include plastic films, paper foil, vegetable fibres, cloths,
sacks and sealed or unsealed bags. The development of
packaging shows a growth from crude methods to
sophisticated, advanced and appealing methods with future
prospects of better ways. A study of the history shows that
earlier packages started from leaves, hollowed out tree
limbs, grounds, skins, baskets and earth ware. The
development of packages moved according to the following
trends: ceramics, glass, paper (Oldest flexible packaging),
iron, plastics, cellophane and recently modified atmosphere
International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056
Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072
© 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 868
packaging (MAP), active packaging, smart or intelligent
packaging, biodegradable packagingandapplicationofNano
composite (Raheem, 2012; Scater, 2010). The use of any
package to extend the shelf life of tomato can be harmful
when the package contains harmful chemicals.
1.1 Related Literature
Shelf life of fruits is a major determinant for their usefulness
with time post-harvest. The said shelf life is the post-harvest
period within which such fruits are good for consumption
without any adverse effects to the health of consumers as
well as its usefulness to agro basedindustries.Itremains one
of the cardinal means of determining the viability of the
usefulness of any fruit post-harvest. One of the means of
being in control of shelf life is by adopting a reliable
packaging. The packaging of fruits have been developing
progressively as the years go by. In recent discoveries,
intelligent packaging and modified atmospheric packaging
(MAP) have been of great breakthrough in extending shelf
life of fruits. The shelf life of fruits and vegetables can be
extended with greater gain to the economy and improved
health for Nigerians. According to executive secretary of
agricultural fresh produce and exporter association of
Nigeria (AFPGEAN) Akin Sawyer says between 55-72
percent of fresh produce grown in the country perish before
they can be consumed . He added that Nigeria had about five
times more arable land than Kenya butKenya earnedabouta
billion dollars in fresh produce export but Nigeria struggled
to earn ten million dollars annually.
The basic principles of tomatoes (Solanum Lycopersicum)
biology and chemistry are of great importance in
determining a suitable package that can extend its shelf life.
The chemistry of tomatoes according to (Dairio et al, 2018)
shows that it has some basic chemical components such as:
 Flavour
 Fatty acid derivatives
 Amino acid derivatives
 Terpenoids
 Sugers
 Organic acids
 Umami compounds
 Steroidal glycoalkaloids and
 Polyphenoils.
Similarly, in the biology of tomatoes post-harvest, it is a
living tissue. It has high respiration rate and othermetabolic
processes before maturation and ripening throughout its
marketing cycle. The respiration of fresh fruits and
vegetables together with the prevailing temperature are
common and most factors that affect shelf life. Higher
respiration releases higher heat and energy. Respiration
itself is a catabolic process of using atmospheric oxygen of
carbohydrates, fats, proteins and organic acids in the plant
tissue to form intermediate compounds and eventuallyCO2,
water and metabolic energy (Alejandra et al, 2009). In the
process of short supply of oxygen, production of small
alcohol will occur giving rise to off flavor, off odour and
finally decay and spoilage (Packaging for fresh fruits and
vegetables, retrieved January, 2019). According toShukadev
and Tridih,(2009), some respiratory quotients of some
substances in fresh fruits are as follows:
C6H12O6 + 6O2 6CO2 + 6H2O (1)
Glucose RQ = 1
C4H6O5 +3O2 4CO2 + 6H2O (2)
Malic Acid RQ = 1.33
C18H36O2 + 26O2 18CO2 +18H2O (3)
Stearic Acid RQ = 0.7
Paper is a very good packaging material fortomatobutinthe
manufacture of paper and board, some chemicals are added
to improve the needed properties. The basic element –
cellulose fibre – used in paper production are mixed with
enough water and little chemical additives. Most of the
additives are lost when the water are being removed. The
truth remains that some of these chemicals that areretained
in the paper and board after manufacture can migrate into
food if it is used in packaging. These chemicals if migrated
into food can endanger human health, change food
composition as well as bring aboutquick deteriorationofthe
food.
According to (Summerfield and Cooper, 2000), chemical
migration is a diffusion processes that is subject to both
kinetic and thermodynamic control. The diffusion processis
influenced by:
1.1.1 Temperature: Migration increases with increase
temperature of contact.
1.1.2 Time: Migration is higher for contact in long
duration.
1.1.3. Thickness of material: The higher the thickness, the
lesser the migration.
1.1.4 Nature of material and amount of migrant in the
material: Migration decreases with substance of
higher molecular weight in the packaging material.
1.1.5 Type of food: The softness or hardness of the surface
of food affects the migration of chemical additives.
International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056
Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072
© 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 869
The chemical additives are in the following categories:
i. Functional additives.
ii. Process chemicals or processing aids.
iii. Intermediate group of chemicals.
These chemicals can be soluble or readily dispersible in
water which greatly affectstomatowhenpaperthatcontains
harmful chemicals are used to package it.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1 Description of study area:
The study was conducted at the Chemical Engineering
Laboratory of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State,
Nigeria. Nekede is located 5.41870N, 7.07530E in Owerri
West local government area of the state. It is eight (8) Km
from Owerri capital city of Imo state. The study was
conducted in April, 2022. The average temperature and
humidity of Nekede at that period is 300C and 73.5%
respectively during the experimentation time.
2.2 Experimental Materials and Design
The tomatoes were bought from Relief market in Owerri six
days after it was harvested and transported from Jos in
Plateau state in Nigeria to Owerri in Imo state. The tomato
fruits selected were those withoutdefect.Thedetermination
of volumes of some of the tomatoes helped in designing a
package with Kraft paperboard that can contain an average
of twenty five (25) tomatoes. Six different packages of Kraft
paperboard were used and the seventh one as control
without package. These packages are: Package with four
holes of 35mm each, Package with eightholesof35mmeach,
Package with four holes of 35mm and back cover of
polyethylene, package with eight holes of 35mm and back
cover of polyethylene, Package without holes, Package
without holes with back cover of polyethylene and control
without package. These packages were named M, N, O, P, Q,
R, and S. The number of tomatoes in these packages ranges
between 15 and 28 which were packaged without the use of
any chemical additive in the packaging. The package was
designed to contain one layer of the tomatoes without any
one on top of each other. The averagetimeforcollectingdata
during the experimentation was between8.30amto9.30am.
The temperature, humidity, weight and number of decay
were daily determined from each package.
2.3 Sample preparation
The tomatoes without decay were selected andwashedwith
clean water. It was kept to dry before packaging.
2.4 Methods of analysis
The temperature, humidity, physiological weight loss,
chemical content of tomato and package were collected
during the experimental period on the six packages and the
control. The collected data were used to determine the shelf
life of the tomatoes in each package. The data were taken
from the packages during the packaging period before the
shelf life was exceeded as follows:
2.5 Chemical effect
The chemical contents of tomatoes, Kraft paper anddecayed
tomatoes on the Kraft paper were determined and analyzed.
According to Ali et. al (2020), all mineral contents are
grouped into major elements, trace elementsandultra-trace
elements. In their findings, major elements are needed daily
above 50 milligrams, trace elements are needed bellow 50
milligrams while ultra – trace elements are needed about 1
micrograms daily.
2.6 Percentage of physiological weight loss
The physiological weight loss is one of the tool used to
determine the shelf life of fruits like tomato. The weight loss
was determined by using the method described by Ghareezi
et al (2012), Zewdie (2017) and Ashenafi (2018).
PPWL (%) = 100 (4)
Where
PPWL (%) = Percentage physiological weight loss.
Wo = Weight of tomatoes at day 0.
Wt = Weight of tomatoes after storage for a determined
number of days.
2.7 Shelf life
The shelf life of tomato is a period of time which starts from
harvest and extends to the beginning of the decay of tomato.
2.8 Percentage of decay
Percentage of decayed tomatoes is the ratio of decayed
tomatoes at a particular day to the total initial number of
tomatoes. According to Mama et al (2026)
International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056
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2.9 Statistical Analysis
The data obtained was statistically analyzed for analysis of
mean, standard deviationandvariance.Themeanseparation
was based on least significant difference (LSD)at5%level of
significant.
2.10 Percentage of physiological weight loss
Table 1: Percentage of physiological weight loss from 4th
to 16th day.
Packaging
material
Storage period in days
4 8 12 16
M 3.33 6.67 10.00 13.33
N 0.00 7.14 10.71 14.29
O 3.33 6.67 16.67 16.67
P 6.67 10.00 13.33 13.33
Q 3.33 6.67 10.00 13.33
R 3.23 3.23 5.16 6.45
S 5.56 11.11 16.67 22.22
Fig. 1: Graph of rate of physiological weight loss from 4th to
16th day
The type of package, number of holes and cover of
polyethylene on packages affected the physiological weight
loss of tomatoes. In the first four days of the experiment,
package with four holes, package with four holes with back
cover of polyethylene, package without holes, package
without holes with back cover of polyethylene and control
without packaging had 3.33%, 3.33%, 3.33% and 3.23%
respectively as their physiological weightloss.Furthermore,
package with eight holes had no physiological weight loss
while package with eight holes and back cover of
polyethylene had 6.67%. The above result is similar to the
work of Abra et.al (2016) where higher physiological weight
loss was noticed on packages at ambient temperatures as
compared with packages in refrigerator. From Table 1, the
physiological weight loss continues to vary with days in all
the packages. Finally on the sixteenth day, packagewithfour
holes, package with eight holes and back cover of
polyethylene and package without holes had 13.33%
physiological weight loss withthecontrol without packaging
having the highest physiological weight loss of 22.22% and
package without holes and back cover of polyethylene
having the least physiological weight loss of 6.45%. The
result shows that the kraft paperboard covered with
polyethylene maintained a controlled heat and air as there
were no holes on it. On the other hand, the control without
package was exposed to the environmental heatandairflow
without control.
2.11 Percentage of decay
Table 2: Percentage of decay of tomato from 4th to 16th
day.
Packaging
material
Storage period in days
4 8 12 16
M 0.00 0.00 26.09 30.44
N 0.00 0.00 0.00 8.00
O 0.00 12.50 29.17 50.00
P 0.00 19.23 19.23 53.85
Q 0.00 12.50 29.17 41.67
R 0.00 7.14 21.43 28.58
S 0.00 6.67 6.67 33.33
International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056
Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072
© 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 871
Fig. 2: Bar chart of comparison of tomato decay from 4th to
16th day
Table 2 and Fig. 2 shows that decay of tomatoes started in
some of the packages on day eight of the packaging. This
could be due to the humidity of the room having the highest
humidity of 91.00% within the period of experimentation.
The different packages showed different percentages of
decay. Package with eight holes started to decay on the
sixteenth day with the least percentage decay of 8.00%. On
the sixteenth day, package with eightholesand back cover of
polyethylene had the highest percentage decay of 53.85%.
The decay percentages of other packages are as follows:
Package with four holes (30.44%), Package with eight holes
(50.00%), Package withoutholes(41.67%),Packagewithout
holes and back cover of polyethylene (28.57%) and control
without packaging(33.33%).Theresultshowsthatpackages
that had the highest temperature also showed high
percentage of decay. The presence of high temperature also
leads to the onset of irreversible rise in respiration and the
production of ethylene (Shukadev and Tridib, 2009). The
high moisture content generated by high temperature leads
to tomato decay (Gherezi et .al, 2012).
According to Zewdie (2017), decay of tomatoes are noticed
as bruises. In his work tomatoes packaged in an enclosure
had higher number of bruisedtomatoesthanthosepackaged
in open containers. This result summarilyvalidatesthathigh
temperature of packages can easily lead tohighrate ofdecay
of tomatoes.
2.12 Shelf life
The shelf life of tomatoes is the day preceding excessive
weight loss and beginning of decay. From collected data,
excessive weight loss was noticedonthetenth(10th)dayand
the shelf life of tomatoes packaged in all the packages were
on the ninth (9th) day but for N package (Package with 8
holes) it was on the fifteenth (15th) day. The tomatoes used
in the package were transported from Jos to Owerri after six
days from the day of harvest. Invariably, six days was added
to the realized shelf life in Owerri.
Table 3: Shelf life of tomatoes in different packages
Packages Shelf Life
(Days)
M – Package with four holes 15
N – Package with eight hole 20
O – Package with four holes and back
cover of polyethylene
15
P – Package with eight holes and back
cover of polyethylene
15
Q – Package without holes 15
R - Package without holes and back
cover of polyethylene
15
S – Control without package 15
2.13 Effect of chemical
The fresh tomato is made up of some chemical element as
well as the kraft paperboard used for packaging. The
interaction of chemical content of the tomatoes and the
packaging material to the rate of decay showed that there is
significant difference between the interactions (P 0.05).
The actualized P value is 0.0153 but the P value for the rate
of decay based on the chemical content of tomato is 0.1143.
This implies that (P 0.05) showing no significant
difference. The result confirmed that the chemical contentof
tomato alone does not determine the rate of decay. The use
of CaCl2 and acetic acid had proved significant difference in
the rate of decay of tomato in agreement with the present
work (Gherezi et. al, 2012).
According to Ali et. al (2020), all the mineral elements are
grouped into major elements, trace elementsandultra-trace
elements. In their findings major elements are needed daily
above 50 milligrams, trace elements are needed bellow 50
milligrams dailywhileultra-traceelementsare neededabout
1 microgram daily.
Table 4 shows these groupings, their quantityinthedecayed
tomatoes in the kraft paperboard and effect on human
health.
4th
Day 8th
Day 12th
Day 16th
Day
International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056
Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072
© 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 872
Table 4: Effect of mineral element on decayed tomato to
human health
5 Chromium 0.024ppm
(0.024mg)
Not harmful to
human health<50mg
6 Nickel 0.032ppm
(0.032mg)
Not harmful to
human health<50mg
7 Molybdenum 0.228ppm
(0.228mg)
Not harmful to
human health<50mg
Ultra-trace
element
1 Aluminum 10.839ppm
(10,839µg)
Very greatly
unhealthy > 1 µg
2 Arsenic 0.072ppm
(72µg)
Greatly unhealthy to
human > 1 µg
3 Lead 0.100ppm
(100µg)
Greatly unhealthy to
human > 1 µg
4 Cadmium 0.047ppm
(47µg)
Greatly unhealthy to
human > 1 µg
5 Silicon 0.894ppm
(894µg)
Very greatly
unhealthy > 1 µg
6 Tin 0.045ppm
(45µg)
Greatly unhealthy to
human > 1 µg
3. Conclusion
Packaging had a significant effect on physiological weight
loss, decay percentage,chemical interactionandoverall shelf
life of fresh tomato. Based on the result of this study, it can
be concluded that packaging of fresh tomato with kraft
paperboard with eight holes of 35mm each resulted in
longer shelf life and least rate of decay.
References
Abrar S.,Abera D.,Simegne K. and Ali M. (2016) Effects of
storage conditions and packagingmaterialsonshelf
life of tomato: food science and quality
management.
Agronews (2016) Nigeria states and their agricultural
produce. www.agronews.com/nigerian-states-
And-their’s-agricultural-products
Alejandra M.e (2009).The use of packaging techniques to
maintain freshness in fresh fruits and vegetables: a
review. International journal of food science and
technology.
Ali M. Y., Sina A. A I. and Gen S. H. (2020) Nutritional
composition and bioactive compounds in tomatoes
and their impact on human health and disease: A
review. Multidisciplinary digital publishing
institute.
Anyasi T.A.,Aworh C.O. and Jideani A.I.O (2016) Effect of
packaging and chemical treatment on storage life
and physiochemical attributes of tomato
(Lycopersiconesculentum Mill Cv. Roma): African
journal of Biotechnology 15 (35): 1913-1919.
Ashenafi Haile (2018) Shelf life and quality of tomatoes
(Lycopersiconesculentum mill) fruits as affectedby
different packaging materials: African journal of
food science 12 (2): 21-27.
Dario P.e (2018). The chemistry behind tomato quality.
Natural product communications.13 (9): 1225-
1232.
Gherezi M., Joshi N., and Sadeghiam E. (2012) Effectsofpost-
harvest treatment on stored Cherry Tomatoes:
Journal of Nutrition and food sciences 2:8
Doi:10.4172/2155-9600.1000157.
Mama S.,Yemer J. and Woelore (2016) Effect of Hot water
treatment on shelf life of tomato
(Lycopersionesculentum mill): Journal of natural
sciences research 6, (17): 69-77.
Packaging India, February - March (1998).
S/N Element Quantity in
decayed
tomato
Effect on human
health
Major
elements
1 Potassium 7.899ppm
(7.899mg)
Not harmful tohuman
health <50mg
2 Calcium 3.988ppm
(3.988mg)
Not harmful tohuman
health <50mg
3 Magnesium 0.022ppm
(0.022mg)
Not harmful tohuman
health <50mg
Trace
elements
1 Iron 0.136ppm
(0.136mg)
Not harmful tohuman
health <50mg
2 Zinc 0.212ppm
(0.212mg)
Not harmful tohuman
health <50mg
3 Copper 0.010ppm
(0.010mg)
Not harmful tohuman
health <50mg
4 Manganese 0.387ppm
(0.387mg)
Not harmful tohuman
health <50mg
International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056
Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072
© 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 873
Raheem D. (2012) Application of Plastics and paper as food
packaging materials - an overview. Nutrition and
food science, 177-188.
Report, A. (2019. April Friday, 19). Donate. Over 55 percent
of Nigeria’s fruits, vegetables perish before
consumption Lagos, Lagos Nigeria:PremiumTimes.
Scater, M.E (2010). Trends in fruits and vegetable packaging
– A review. Croatian journal of food technology,
Biotechnology and nutrition, 69-86.
Shukadev M. and Tridib K.G. (2009) Modified atmosphere
packaging of fruits and vegetables for extending
shelf life: A review. Fresh produce 3(1), 1-31 global
science books.
Summerfield, W. and Cooper, I. (2000) “Investigation of
migration from paper and board into food –
Development of method for rapid testing”. Food
additives and contaminates, 18(1): 77-88.
Zewdie Tsegahun Mekonmen (2017) The influence of retail
packaging on tomato quality: Journal of nutrition
and food sciences 7 : 3.

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  • 1. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056 Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072 © 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 867 Development of Effective Tomato Package for Post-Harvest Preservation Onwuzuruigbo, Johnson U.1, Okonkwo Ugochukwu C.2 1,2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Nigeria. ---------------------------------------------------------------------***--------------------------------------------------------------------- Abstract - This study evaluated the effects of chemical content on packaged materials on fresh tomato. The study was carried out by using kraft paperboardtodesigna package with different numbers of holes, back cover of polyethylene and some without holes. The packages were designed to contain about twenty five pieces of average sized tomatoes on one row arrangement. The packages consist of six packages and a control without packaging named M, N, O, P, Q, R and S respectively. These packages were distinguished with some having varied number of holes, covered with polyethyleneand a control without hole nor covering. Tomatoes (Solanum Lycopersicum) were packaged in these packages for sixteen days to ascertain their physiologicalweightloss, percentage of decay, chemical interaction with the packaging materialsand overall shelf life for each package, reading was taken at intervals of four days. The data obtained were analyzed using analysis of variance and means of different parameters were compared by least significant difference (LSD). The result revealed that packaging had a significant effect on physiological weight loss, percentage of decay, chemical interaction of the packaging material and overall shelf life. The least physiological weight loss of 0.00% was recorded on package N for the fourth day and the highest physiological weight loss of 22.22% on package S on the sixteenth day. For the first four days, none of the tomatoes decayed in all the packages but on the sixteenth day, package N had the least percentage decay of 8.00% with package P having the highest percentage of decay of 53.85%. Theinteractionofthechemical content of the tomato and the packaging material to the rate of decay showed that there is significant difference between the interactions (P 0.05). The following elements – Aluminum, Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, Silicon and Tin – present in the packaging material proved to be poisonous when tomatoes decayed in the packaging material. The shelf life of 20 days was observed in package N while other packages had 15 days. It can be concluded that packaging of fresh tomato with kraft paperboard of eight holes of 35mm each resulted in longer shelf life and least rate of decay. Key Words: Fresh, tomato, Packaging,Physiological,weight, shelf-life. 1. INTRODUCTION The shelf life of a fresh tomato is the duration from harvesting a matured tomato to a day before spoiling. Temperature is a very important factor that affects the shelf life of a tomato. At a temperature of 50C, tomato respire moderately between 10 – 20 MgC02/Kg – hr while at a temperature of 70C tomato can have a shelf life of uptothree weeks (21 days) (Package India, 1998). In the study of Dario et al, (2018) on the chemistry behind tomato quality, they confirmed that tomato contains volatile and non – volatile chemical substances. Some of them include: ethers, aldehydes, ketones, fatty acid derivatives, amino acid derivatives, terpenoids, sugars, umami compounds, carotenoids and polyphenols. Thesechemicalsintomatocan react with other chemicals used to extend the shelf life of tomato or chemical contents of tomato packages. In the study of Gherezi et al (2012) and Anyasi et al (2016) to extend the shelf life of tomato with chemicals, they succeeded without testing theeffectsofthosechemicalsthey used. Some of the chemicals they used are boric acid (H3BO3), calcium chloride (CaCl2), and potassium tetra Oxo- manganese (KMnO4). In Nigeria, tomato is cultivated in many parts of the country. It thrives well in Savanna agro-channel zone with less pest and diseases of tomato. Major producing areas lies between latitude 7.50N and 130N and within a temperature range of 250C – 340C. The states in this categories are Jigawa,Kastina, Zamfra, Sokoto, Kaduna, Bauchi,Gombo,Taraba,andKanoin the northern part of the country. It can also be grown in southern states like Delta,Kwara andOyo(Agronews,2016). Tomato is a vegetable with high content of water which makes it to have a very short shelf life when exposed to high temperature. In its season, it is produced in abundance which needs to be kept fresh for consumption. To do this, packaging of fresh tomato is one of the best option. According to (Raheem, 2012), packaging material could be either rigid or flexible. Rigid packaging materials are not easily moved out of their position. Some examples include glass, plastics, jars, cans pottery, wooden boxes, drums, tins and tubes. Flexible packaging is a major group of materials that include plastic films, paper foil, vegetable fibres, cloths, sacks and sealed or unsealed bags. The development of packaging shows a growth from crude methods to sophisticated, advanced and appealing methods with future prospects of better ways. A study of the history shows that earlier packages started from leaves, hollowed out tree limbs, grounds, skins, baskets and earth ware. The development of packages moved according to the following trends: ceramics, glass, paper (Oldest flexible packaging), iron, plastics, cellophane and recently modified atmosphere
  • 2. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056 Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072 © 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 868 packaging (MAP), active packaging, smart or intelligent packaging, biodegradable packagingandapplicationofNano composite (Raheem, 2012; Scater, 2010). The use of any package to extend the shelf life of tomato can be harmful when the package contains harmful chemicals. 1.1 Related Literature Shelf life of fruits is a major determinant for their usefulness with time post-harvest. The said shelf life is the post-harvest period within which such fruits are good for consumption without any adverse effects to the health of consumers as well as its usefulness to agro basedindustries.Itremains one of the cardinal means of determining the viability of the usefulness of any fruit post-harvest. One of the means of being in control of shelf life is by adopting a reliable packaging. The packaging of fruits have been developing progressively as the years go by. In recent discoveries, intelligent packaging and modified atmospheric packaging (MAP) have been of great breakthrough in extending shelf life of fruits. The shelf life of fruits and vegetables can be extended with greater gain to the economy and improved health for Nigerians. According to executive secretary of agricultural fresh produce and exporter association of Nigeria (AFPGEAN) Akin Sawyer says between 55-72 percent of fresh produce grown in the country perish before they can be consumed . He added that Nigeria had about five times more arable land than Kenya butKenya earnedabouta billion dollars in fresh produce export but Nigeria struggled to earn ten million dollars annually. The basic principles of tomatoes (Solanum Lycopersicum) biology and chemistry are of great importance in determining a suitable package that can extend its shelf life. The chemistry of tomatoes according to (Dairio et al, 2018) shows that it has some basic chemical components such as:  Flavour  Fatty acid derivatives  Amino acid derivatives  Terpenoids  Sugers  Organic acids  Umami compounds  Steroidal glycoalkaloids and  Polyphenoils. Similarly, in the biology of tomatoes post-harvest, it is a living tissue. It has high respiration rate and othermetabolic processes before maturation and ripening throughout its marketing cycle. The respiration of fresh fruits and vegetables together with the prevailing temperature are common and most factors that affect shelf life. Higher respiration releases higher heat and energy. Respiration itself is a catabolic process of using atmospheric oxygen of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and organic acids in the plant tissue to form intermediate compounds and eventuallyCO2, water and metabolic energy (Alejandra et al, 2009). In the process of short supply of oxygen, production of small alcohol will occur giving rise to off flavor, off odour and finally decay and spoilage (Packaging for fresh fruits and vegetables, retrieved January, 2019). According toShukadev and Tridih,(2009), some respiratory quotients of some substances in fresh fruits are as follows: C6H12O6 + 6O2 6CO2 + 6H2O (1) Glucose RQ = 1 C4H6O5 +3O2 4CO2 + 6H2O (2) Malic Acid RQ = 1.33 C18H36O2 + 26O2 18CO2 +18H2O (3) Stearic Acid RQ = 0.7 Paper is a very good packaging material fortomatobutinthe manufacture of paper and board, some chemicals are added to improve the needed properties. The basic element – cellulose fibre – used in paper production are mixed with enough water and little chemical additives. Most of the additives are lost when the water are being removed. The truth remains that some of these chemicals that areretained in the paper and board after manufacture can migrate into food if it is used in packaging. These chemicals if migrated into food can endanger human health, change food composition as well as bring aboutquick deteriorationofthe food. According to (Summerfield and Cooper, 2000), chemical migration is a diffusion processes that is subject to both kinetic and thermodynamic control. The diffusion processis influenced by: 1.1.1 Temperature: Migration increases with increase temperature of contact. 1.1.2 Time: Migration is higher for contact in long duration. 1.1.3. Thickness of material: The higher the thickness, the lesser the migration. 1.1.4 Nature of material and amount of migrant in the material: Migration decreases with substance of higher molecular weight in the packaging material. 1.1.5 Type of food: The softness or hardness of the surface of food affects the migration of chemical additives.
  • 3. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056 Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072 © 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 869 The chemical additives are in the following categories: i. Functional additives. ii. Process chemicals or processing aids. iii. Intermediate group of chemicals. These chemicals can be soluble or readily dispersible in water which greatly affectstomatowhenpaperthatcontains harmful chemicals are used to package it. 2. Materials and Methods 2.1 Description of study area: The study was conducted at the Chemical Engineering Laboratory of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State, Nigeria. Nekede is located 5.41870N, 7.07530E in Owerri West local government area of the state. It is eight (8) Km from Owerri capital city of Imo state. The study was conducted in April, 2022. The average temperature and humidity of Nekede at that period is 300C and 73.5% respectively during the experimentation time. 2.2 Experimental Materials and Design The tomatoes were bought from Relief market in Owerri six days after it was harvested and transported from Jos in Plateau state in Nigeria to Owerri in Imo state. The tomato fruits selected were those withoutdefect.Thedetermination of volumes of some of the tomatoes helped in designing a package with Kraft paperboard that can contain an average of twenty five (25) tomatoes. Six different packages of Kraft paperboard were used and the seventh one as control without package. These packages are: Package with four holes of 35mm each, Package with eightholesof35mmeach, Package with four holes of 35mm and back cover of polyethylene, package with eight holes of 35mm and back cover of polyethylene, Package without holes, Package without holes with back cover of polyethylene and control without package. These packages were named M, N, O, P, Q, R, and S. The number of tomatoes in these packages ranges between 15 and 28 which were packaged without the use of any chemical additive in the packaging. The package was designed to contain one layer of the tomatoes without any one on top of each other. The averagetimeforcollectingdata during the experimentation was between8.30amto9.30am. The temperature, humidity, weight and number of decay were daily determined from each package. 2.3 Sample preparation The tomatoes without decay were selected andwashedwith clean water. It was kept to dry before packaging. 2.4 Methods of analysis The temperature, humidity, physiological weight loss, chemical content of tomato and package were collected during the experimental period on the six packages and the control. The collected data were used to determine the shelf life of the tomatoes in each package. The data were taken from the packages during the packaging period before the shelf life was exceeded as follows: 2.5 Chemical effect The chemical contents of tomatoes, Kraft paper anddecayed tomatoes on the Kraft paper were determined and analyzed. According to Ali et. al (2020), all mineral contents are grouped into major elements, trace elementsandultra-trace elements. In their findings, major elements are needed daily above 50 milligrams, trace elements are needed bellow 50 milligrams while ultra – trace elements are needed about 1 micrograms daily. 2.6 Percentage of physiological weight loss The physiological weight loss is one of the tool used to determine the shelf life of fruits like tomato. The weight loss was determined by using the method described by Ghareezi et al (2012), Zewdie (2017) and Ashenafi (2018). PPWL (%) = 100 (4) Where PPWL (%) = Percentage physiological weight loss. Wo = Weight of tomatoes at day 0. Wt = Weight of tomatoes after storage for a determined number of days. 2.7 Shelf life The shelf life of tomato is a period of time which starts from harvest and extends to the beginning of the decay of tomato. 2.8 Percentage of decay Percentage of decayed tomatoes is the ratio of decayed tomatoes at a particular day to the total initial number of tomatoes. According to Mama et al (2026)
  • 4. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056 Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072 © 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 870 2.9 Statistical Analysis The data obtained was statistically analyzed for analysis of mean, standard deviationandvariance.Themeanseparation was based on least significant difference (LSD)at5%level of significant. 2.10 Percentage of physiological weight loss Table 1: Percentage of physiological weight loss from 4th to 16th day. Packaging material Storage period in days 4 8 12 16 M 3.33 6.67 10.00 13.33 N 0.00 7.14 10.71 14.29 O 3.33 6.67 16.67 16.67 P 6.67 10.00 13.33 13.33 Q 3.33 6.67 10.00 13.33 R 3.23 3.23 5.16 6.45 S 5.56 11.11 16.67 22.22 Fig. 1: Graph of rate of physiological weight loss from 4th to 16th day The type of package, number of holes and cover of polyethylene on packages affected the physiological weight loss of tomatoes. In the first four days of the experiment, package with four holes, package with four holes with back cover of polyethylene, package without holes, package without holes with back cover of polyethylene and control without packaging had 3.33%, 3.33%, 3.33% and 3.23% respectively as their physiological weightloss.Furthermore, package with eight holes had no physiological weight loss while package with eight holes and back cover of polyethylene had 6.67%. The above result is similar to the work of Abra et.al (2016) where higher physiological weight loss was noticed on packages at ambient temperatures as compared with packages in refrigerator. From Table 1, the physiological weight loss continues to vary with days in all the packages. Finally on the sixteenth day, packagewithfour holes, package with eight holes and back cover of polyethylene and package without holes had 13.33% physiological weight loss withthecontrol without packaging having the highest physiological weight loss of 22.22% and package without holes and back cover of polyethylene having the least physiological weight loss of 6.45%. The result shows that the kraft paperboard covered with polyethylene maintained a controlled heat and air as there were no holes on it. On the other hand, the control without package was exposed to the environmental heatandairflow without control. 2.11 Percentage of decay Table 2: Percentage of decay of tomato from 4th to 16th day. Packaging material Storage period in days 4 8 12 16 M 0.00 0.00 26.09 30.44 N 0.00 0.00 0.00 8.00 O 0.00 12.50 29.17 50.00 P 0.00 19.23 19.23 53.85 Q 0.00 12.50 29.17 41.67 R 0.00 7.14 21.43 28.58 S 0.00 6.67 6.67 33.33
  • 5. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056 Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072 © 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 871 Fig. 2: Bar chart of comparison of tomato decay from 4th to 16th day Table 2 and Fig. 2 shows that decay of tomatoes started in some of the packages on day eight of the packaging. This could be due to the humidity of the room having the highest humidity of 91.00% within the period of experimentation. The different packages showed different percentages of decay. Package with eight holes started to decay on the sixteenth day with the least percentage decay of 8.00%. On the sixteenth day, package with eightholesand back cover of polyethylene had the highest percentage decay of 53.85%. The decay percentages of other packages are as follows: Package with four holes (30.44%), Package with eight holes (50.00%), Package withoutholes(41.67%),Packagewithout holes and back cover of polyethylene (28.57%) and control without packaging(33.33%).Theresultshowsthatpackages that had the highest temperature also showed high percentage of decay. The presence of high temperature also leads to the onset of irreversible rise in respiration and the production of ethylene (Shukadev and Tridib, 2009). The high moisture content generated by high temperature leads to tomato decay (Gherezi et .al, 2012). According to Zewdie (2017), decay of tomatoes are noticed as bruises. In his work tomatoes packaged in an enclosure had higher number of bruisedtomatoesthanthosepackaged in open containers. This result summarilyvalidatesthathigh temperature of packages can easily lead tohighrate ofdecay of tomatoes. 2.12 Shelf life The shelf life of tomatoes is the day preceding excessive weight loss and beginning of decay. From collected data, excessive weight loss was noticedonthetenth(10th)dayand the shelf life of tomatoes packaged in all the packages were on the ninth (9th) day but for N package (Package with 8 holes) it was on the fifteenth (15th) day. The tomatoes used in the package were transported from Jos to Owerri after six days from the day of harvest. Invariably, six days was added to the realized shelf life in Owerri. Table 3: Shelf life of tomatoes in different packages Packages Shelf Life (Days) M – Package with four holes 15 N – Package with eight hole 20 O – Package with four holes and back cover of polyethylene 15 P – Package with eight holes and back cover of polyethylene 15 Q – Package without holes 15 R - Package without holes and back cover of polyethylene 15 S – Control without package 15 2.13 Effect of chemical The fresh tomato is made up of some chemical element as well as the kraft paperboard used for packaging. The interaction of chemical content of the tomatoes and the packaging material to the rate of decay showed that there is significant difference between the interactions (P 0.05). The actualized P value is 0.0153 but the P value for the rate of decay based on the chemical content of tomato is 0.1143. This implies that (P 0.05) showing no significant difference. The result confirmed that the chemical contentof tomato alone does not determine the rate of decay. The use of CaCl2 and acetic acid had proved significant difference in the rate of decay of tomato in agreement with the present work (Gherezi et. al, 2012). According to Ali et. al (2020), all the mineral elements are grouped into major elements, trace elementsandultra-trace elements. In their findings major elements are needed daily above 50 milligrams, trace elements are needed bellow 50 milligrams dailywhileultra-traceelementsare neededabout 1 microgram daily. Table 4 shows these groupings, their quantityinthedecayed tomatoes in the kraft paperboard and effect on human health. 4th Day 8th Day 12th Day 16th Day
  • 6. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056 Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072 © 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 872 Table 4: Effect of mineral element on decayed tomato to human health 5 Chromium 0.024ppm (0.024mg) Not harmful to human health<50mg 6 Nickel 0.032ppm (0.032mg) Not harmful to human health<50mg 7 Molybdenum 0.228ppm (0.228mg) Not harmful to human health<50mg Ultra-trace element 1 Aluminum 10.839ppm (10,839µg) Very greatly unhealthy > 1 µg 2 Arsenic 0.072ppm (72µg) Greatly unhealthy to human > 1 µg 3 Lead 0.100ppm (100µg) Greatly unhealthy to human > 1 µg 4 Cadmium 0.047ppm (47µg) Greatly unhealthy to human > 1 µg 5 Silicon 0.894ppm (894µg) Very greatly unhealthy > 1 µg 6 Tin 0.045ppm (45µg) Greatly unhealthy to human > 1 µg 3. Conclusion Packaging had a significant effect on physiological weight loss, decay percentage,chemical interactionandoverall shelf life of fresh tomato. Based on the result of this study, it can be concluded that packaging of fresh tomato with kraft paperboard with eight holes of 35mm each resulted in longer shelf life and least rate of decay. References Abrar S.,Abera D.,Simegne K. and Ali M. (2016) Effects of storage conditions and packagingmaterialsonshelf life of tomato: food science and quality management. Agronews (2016) Nigeria states and their agricultural produce. www.agronews.com/nigerian-states- And-their’s-agricultural-products Alejandra M.e (2009).The use of packaging techniques to maintain freshness in fresh fruits and vegetables: a review. International journal of food science and technology. Ali M. Y., Sina A. A I. and Gen S. H. (2020) Nutritional composition and bioactive compounds in tomatoes and their impact on human health and disease: A review. Multidisciplinary digital publishing institute. Anyasi T.A.,Aworh C.O. and Jideani A.I.O (2016) Effect of packaging and chemical treatment on storage life and physiochemical attributes of tomato (Lycopersiconesculentum Mill Cv. Roma): African journal of Biotechnology 15 (35): 1913-1919. Ashenafi Haile (2018) Shelf life and quality of tomatoes (Lycopersiconesculentum mill) fruits as affectedby different packaging materials: African journal of food science 12 (2): 21-27. Dario P.e (2018). The chemistry behind tomato quality. Natural product communications.13 (9): 1225- 1232. Gherezi M., Joshi N., and Sadeghiam E. (2012) Effectsofpost- harvest treatment on stored Cherry Tomatoes: Journal of Nutrition and food sciences 2:8 Doi:10.4172/2155-9600.1000157. Mama S.,Yemer J. and Woelore (2016) Effect of Hot water treatment on shelf life of tomato (Lycopersionesculentum mill): Journal of natural sciences research 6, (17): 69-77. Packaging India, February - March (1998). S/N Element Quantity in decayed tomato Effect on human health Major elements 1 Potassium 7.899ppm (7.899mg) Not harmful tohuman health <50mg 2 Calcium 3.988ppm (3.988mg) Not harmful tohuman health <50mg 3 Magnesium 0.022ppm (0.022mg) Not harmful tohuman health <50mg Trace elements 1 Iron 0.136ppm (0.136mg) Not harmful tohuman health <50mg 2 Zinc 0.212ppm (0.212mg) Not harmful tohuman health <50mg 3 Copper 0.010ppm (0.010mg) Not harmful tohuman health <50mg 4 Manganese 0.387ppm (0.387mg) Not harmful tohuman health <50mg
  • 7. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) e-ISSN: 2395-0056 Volume: 10 Issue: 08 | Aug 2023 www.irjet.net p-ISSN: 2395-0072 © 2023, IRJET | Impact Factor value: 8.226 | ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal | Page 873 Raheem D. (2012) Application of Plastics and paper as food packaging materials - an overview. Nutrition and food science, 177-188. Report, A. (2019. April Friday, 19). Donate. Over 55 percent of Nigeria’s fruits, vegetables perish before consumption Lagos, Lagos Nigeria:PremiumTimes. Scater, M.E (2010). Trends in fruits and vegetable packaging – A review. Croatian journal of food technology, Biotechnology and nutrition, 69-86. Shukadev M. and Tridib K.G. (2009) Modified atmosphere packaging of fruits and vegetables for extending shelf life: A review. Fresh produce 3(1), 1-31 global science books. Summerfield, W. and Cooper, I. (2000) “Investigation of migration from paper and board into food – Development of method for rapid testing”. Food additives and contaminates, 18(1): 77-88. Zewdie Tsegahun Mekonmen (2017) The influence of retail packaging on tomato quality: Journal of nutrition and food sciences 7 : 3.