Influence of Preharvest Bagging on Maturity Indices and Postharvest Quality of Cherry Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme)

Nana Millicent Duduzile Buthelezi*, Joshua Oluwole Olowoyo, Tieho Paulus Mafeo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The production of cherry tomato (Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme) is negatively affected by harsh environmental conditions such as extremely high and low temperatures, wind and hail damage, and pest and disease infestation. These factors delay maturity and cause uneven ripening, fruit abrasion, and blemishes, which consequently result in poor fruit quality and reduced shelf life. Preharvest bagging is an environmentally friendly alternative technique for enhancement of fruit quality and hence alleviates the stated problems. The study evaluated the physico-chemical quality of 'Tinker' and 'Roma VF' cherry tomato as influenced by preharvest bagging (transparent and blue plastics) during 8 days of shelf life at ambient conditions. Five clusters of fruit per plant per cultivar with a diameter of 1.5 to 2.0 cm were bagged after 16 days of fruit set and harvested at the green maturity stage, 12 days after preharvest bagging for the assessment of postharvest quality. Preharvest bagging effectively accelerated fruit maturity and ripening as indicated by enhanced fruit size, uniform color development, high pH, dry matter (DM) content, soluble solid content (SSC), and low titratable acidity (TA) during shelf life. Bagged fruit had higher loss of firmness and weight mainly due to ripening and showed very slight incidence of diseases during shelf life of 8 days. Unbagged cherry tomato had delayed maturity and ripening; small-sized fruit; uneven color development; low pH, SSC, and DM; and high TA. Although unbagged cherry tomato had lower firmness and weight loss due to delayed ripening, fruit showed moderate to severe incidence of tomato bacterial canker disease (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis) during shelf life. These results indicated that preharvest bagging accelerated fruit maturity and ripening, improved physico-chemical quality, and reduced disease infestation on cherry tomato during shelf life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalHortscience: A Publication of the American Society for Hortcultural Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • diseases
  • dry matter content
  • firmness
  • ripening
  • shelf life


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