Extending Tomato Freshness with Zucchini-Based Edible Coating

Greg Howard
8th June, 2024

Extending Tomato Freshness with Zucchini-Based Edible Coating

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Chandigarh University found that zucchini-derived pectin can extend the shelf life of tomatoes
  • Pectin showed strong antimicrobial activity against common bacteria and fungi
  • Tomatoes coated with a 5% pectin solution had minimal weight loss and better nutrient retention, extending their shelf life to 11 days
Recent advancements in food packaging research have led to the development of bio-based, edible coatings that can extend the shelf life of perishable foods. A study conducted by Chandigarh University explored the effectiveness of using zucchini-derived pectin as an edible coating to enhance the storage properties and shelf life of mature green tomatoes[1]. The study focused on the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of the extracted pectin. Antimicrobial properties were tested against common bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, as well as the fungus Aspergillus niger. The pectin demonstrated significant antimicrobial activity, making it a promising candidate for food preservation. Additionally, the antioxidant properties were measured, showing a 34.32% activity at a concentration of 1 mg/mL. To test the practical application of pectin as a coating, tomatoes were immersed in pectin solutions of varying concentrations (1%, 3%, and 5% w/v). The tomatoes were then monitored for physiological changes such as weight loss, total sugar content, titratable acidity, pH, and ascorbic acid levels during different stages of ripening (mature green, light red, pure red, and breaking). The results were promising. Tomatoes coated with a 5% pectin solution exhibited minimal weight loss and better retention of total sugar, ascorbic acid, and titratable acidity compared to uncoated tomatoes. The shelf life of the pectin-coated tomatoes was extended to 11 days, whereas uncoated control tomatoes lasted only 9 days. This indicates that a 5% pectin solution is effective in delaying the ripening process and extending the shelf life of tomatoes without adversely affecting their physiochemical properties. This study builds on previous research that has explored the benefits of pectin and other dietary fibers. For instance, pectin has been shown to possess cholesterol-lowering properties, which depend on its physico-chemical characteristics like viscosity and molecular weight[2]. This characteristic is crucial for its effectiveness in different applications, including food preservation. Moreover, the use of pectin in food coatings aligns with earlier findings that edible coatings can significantly enhance the shelf life and quality of perishable foods. A study on tomatoes coated with pectin, corn flour, and beetroot powder-based coatings demonstrated improved shelf life and quality retention[3]. The current study by Chandigarh University further confirms the potential of pectin as an effective coating material, specifically highlighting its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Additionally, the antimicrobial efficacy of pectin aligns with research on other natural antimicrobial agents. For example, zirconium nanoparticles synthesized using pomegranate peel extract showed significant antimicrobial activity against both bacteria and fungi[4]. This highlights the broader trend of utilizing natural substances for their antimicrobial properties in food preservation. In summary, the current study from Chandigarh University demonstrates that a 5% pectin solution is effective in extending the shelf life of tomatoes by delaying the ripening process and preserving their physiochemical properties. This finding is supported by earlier research on the benefits of pectin and other edible coatings, making it a scalable solution for commercial food preservation.



Main Study

1) As assessment of shelf life increasing competence of pectin (Zucchini) based edible coating on tomatoes.

Published 5th June, 2024


Related Studies

2) Cholesterol-lowering properties of different pectin types in mildly hyper-cholesterolemic men and women.


3) Composite edible coatings from commercial pectin, corn flour and beetroot powder minimize post-harvest decay, reduces ripening and improves sensory liking of tomatoes.


4) Green synthesis of Zirconium nanoparticles using Punica granatum (pomegranate) peel extract and their antimicrobial and antioxidant potency.


Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙