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Introduction:

The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is one of the most important "protective foods" both because of its special nutritive value and also because of its widespread production. Tomatoes are used for soup, salad, pickles, ketchup, puree, sauces and in many other ways. India ranks second in the area as well as in production of Tomato.The production in 2013 is 182.27 lakh tons.

Popular Varieties:

The commonly grown varieties of Tomato are Arka Abha, Arka Saurabh, Pusa Gaurav, Angurlata, Pant Bahar, Ratna and Rupali.

Maturity Indices:

Maturity of tomato plants is achieved after 8-12 weeks of planting. Seeds slipping when fruit is cut or green colour turning pink.

Harvesting:

Tomatoes are usually packed in bamboo baskets. Wooden boxes of different sizes and shapes are also used in long distance transportation. Corrugated fiberboard boxes are also used. Some Innovative packaging is also used for fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes are taken in plastic crates for local markets.

Storage & Packaging:

The main objective in storage after harvest is to control the rate of ripening to extend the marketing period. As the tomatoes are chilling sensitive, the recommended storage temperatures difference depending on the fruit maturity. A storage temperature of 130 C with 90-95% relative humidity is recommended for slow ripening. At this temperature, most varieties keep in good condition for 2-3 weeks and change colour very slowly.

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