Can someone store tomatoes in a cold storage? How long?

Full ripe tomatoes are stored at a temperature of 55°F for up to several days. Temperatures
cooler than this will cause chilling injury, producing poor colors and off flavors. Owing to
improper storage, there is a loss in fresh weight of about 10-15%. As a result, they
seem shriveled and stale, thus decreasing their market value and consumer appeal
acceptability. Proper storage facilities are important in stabilizing the supplies by
Carrying over products from times of high production to periods of low production.

Tomato storage temperature, relative humidity (RH), and average storage life: –

Vegetables Temp 0C RH (%) Storage life (weeks)
Tomato, unripe 8.0-10.0 85-90 4.5
Tomato, ripe 7.2 90 1

Following are the methods of storage of tomato: –

  • Low temperature storage

This is a tried-and-true approach for retaining freshness and prolonging shelf life.
It lowers the rate of respiration and heat breakdown of fresh vegetables. Chilling
If the storage temperature is less than 12.50 degrees Celsius, the quality of the fruits may suffer.

  • Ethylene treatment

By employing Etherl as a source and treating ethylene as a dip treatment or gaseous exposure
of ethylene, uniform accelerated ripening can be obtained. Also, by deleting
ethylene generated by fruit by the application of ethylene absorbent, either indigenously made or imported
or by using ‘purafil’ (a commercial ethylene absorbent), considerable
extension of shelf life.

  • Evaporative cooling of tomato

Evaporation of moisture from tomato causes wilting and shriveling, resulting in weight loss. The
As ambient air is carried through the evaporative cooling process, an adiabatic exchange of heat occurs.
via a soaked surface to achieve low temperature and high humidity
It is desirable to lengthen the storage life of tomatoes.

  • MAS using silicone membrane

It is a system of controlled ventilation that manages the gas levels in the storage environment.
by reusing selective gas permeation. The membrane makes use of ability of the polymer
to enable the selective flow of gases at varying speeds according on their physical and chemical properties
chemical properties.


Tomatoes may be packed in a variety of containers depending on the intended market. Customarily,
Individual tomatoes are packaged in the containers shown below.

  • Vine-Ripened In flat layer carton basket (bamboo, wooden etc.)
  • Mature Green fruits Pack loose in carton
  • Plastic crates can
    be easily stacked one on top of the other, and a curved rim protects the goods safe and secure
    natural and allow sufficient air circulation.

Cold storage

Low cost cool chamber
cheap price A cold chamber is used to keep vegetables and fruits for an extended period of time. It has been prepared.
by using locally accessible materials such as bricks, grass, jute bags/gunny bags, bamboo, and
sand. It keeps fruits fresh and attractive and without shrinkage upto 3-4 days. It is
based on principle that coolness occurs after evaporation. A sand layer that was kept moist by
sprinkling water twice in a day and on bricks wall once in a day. A low-cost building
cool chamber is given in the following diagram.

Tomato Cold Storage

The gradual improvement in the production of perishable commodities such as tomatoes has
necessitating the establishment of cold storage facilities in and around the increasing area
the consuming centers to extend their shelf life in some way to appeal to the
requirements of the people. The development of cold storage industries has therefore an important
role to play in decreasing perishable commodity waste and thereby offering
remunerative prices to the growers. Cold storages are used to store various fruits.
and vegetables based on season and/or storage of various fruits and veggies
at the same time.

The design of Cold Storage largely depends on
• Product to be stored
• Temperature and humidity levels must be maintained.
• Quantity of the product
• Period of Storage

In the case of tomatoes, the required storage temperature varies depending on whether they are ripe or mature.
Fruits that are (greenish-yellow) in color. For ripe tomato’s the storage temperature
is 40 to 450F, and the required cold storage life is 1 to 112 weeks.
The temperature necessary for mature (greenish-yellow) tomato storage is around 55 to 600F.
It has a cold storage life of 3 to 4 weeks. Tomatoes should not be stored in
temperature lower than 400F because they show the tendency to break down. Green
Nonetheless, matured tomatoes might be sufficiently ripened with the formation of appealing red spots.
colour by storing at 60 to 700F.

Financial assistance for cold storage is given by National Horticulture Board. Benefits include
agriculture production and selling committee, agricultural industry, cooperative societies
Farmers’ co-operatives and co-operatives. Capacity of cold storage should be 5,000
Mt. and considering cold storage expansion should not exceed 2 crores.

The following is the capital investment percentage for cold storage:
• Share from NHB – 25%
• From NABARD/Traders bank – 50% (loan)
• From NCDC – amount upto 50 lakh (north eastern states Rs.60 lakh) 33%
• Co-operatives owned share – 10%
• Permission from National Co-operative Development is necessary for cooperative cold storage.

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