CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF TOMATOES DEPENDING ON THE STAGE OF RIPENING
Keywords:tomatoes, ripening, chemical composition, taste index, maturity.
Tomatoes are well-known vegetables, grown and eaten around the world due to their nutritional benefits. The aim of this research was to determine the chemical composition (dry matter, soluble solids, titritable acidity, vitamin C, lycopene), the taste index and maturity in three cherry tomato varieties (Sakura, Sunstream, Mathew) grown and collected from greenhouse at different stages of ripening. The output of the analyses showed that there were significant differences in the mean values among the analysed parameters according to the stage of ripening and variety. During ripening, the content of soluble solids increases on average two times in all analyzed varieties; the highest content of vitamin C and lycopene was determined in tomatoes of Sunstream variety in red stage. The highest total acidity expressed as g of citric acid 100 g-1 was observed in pink stage (variety Sakura) or a breaker stage (varieties Sunstream and Mathew). The taste index of the variety Sakura was higher at all analyzed ripening stages in comparison with other varieties. This shows that ripening stages have a significant effect on tomato biochemical composition along with their variety.