Storing tomatoes in the fridge reduces their flavour, according to researchers in the Netherlands and Italy.
Horticulture Week reports the results of a study involving Rijk Zwaan and The Greenery in which they developed an artificial mouth to accurately measure the flavours emitted when tomatoes are chewed found that when stored at a typical refrigerator temperature of 4-8oC they released less flavour within three to five hours. What’s more, once the tomatoes were returned to room temperature flavour release was only partially recovered.
“Consumers are best to keep tomatoes out of the fridge, but that’s true of only 30 per cent of them. There are still quality gains to be had at this stage,” said Ernst Woltering, senior scientist at Wageningen UR who coordinated the research.
He suggested that the trial could help improve quality in the supply chain – for example by enabling breeders to focus on tomato varieties that are less sensitive to cold, or to encourage transport and logistics companies to be more critical on temperature.
The study, conducted by Wageningen in collaboration with the Radboud University Nijmegen, The University of Bologna, Rijk Zwaan and The Greenery, will be published shortly in the Food and Bioprocess Technology journal.