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Tomatoes

The Importance of Tomato Quality Control & Testing

Optimizing tomato quality evaluation is essential for everyone in the value chain, from growers and pickers, to warehouses, retailers, and anyone else in between. Without creating a consistent tomato quality control & testing or quality control process that can be relied on, businesses are left unable to recoup their costs, or are held ransom by the threat of rejections or price renegotiations.

Common Tomato Defects

The following defects are the ones that are most likely to affect tomato quality across the supply chain:

Handling Damage

Tomatoes should be removed from the plant with a gentle twisting motion. Rough handling can cause defects or a drop in the tomato standard.

Dehydration

When a tomato plant is either under- or over-watered, it may develop yellow leaves or look wilted. This can cause damage to the fruit, such as shriveled skin caused from dehydration, or cracked skin caused from over-watering.

Pests

Various insects and worms can cause damage to tomato plants from root to fruit, and not all of these problems can be spotted immediately.

Skin Defects

There could be as many potential skin defects on a tomato fruit as there are varieties of tomatoes! Skin cracks, scars, healed wounds, low color, green shoulders, and the list goes on. How many could you identify alone?

Bruising

While tomato ripeness is desired, there is more potential for bruising when handling ripe tomatoes. This can also have a direct impact on tomato standard and quality.

Open Wounds

During the process of growth or mishandling, cracks or half-formed fruit can develop wounds. This can then cause problems such as internally sprouting seeds, water loss, or black mold.

Decay

Blossom end rot can come from a variety of sources, such as a lack of calcium balance in the tissue of the tomato. Over time, the area can also turn dark brown or leathery.

Common Tomato Attributes for Tomato Quality Evaluation

The following internal and external tomato attributes are commonly used for quality evaluation:

Color

Diameter

Degrees Brix

Stem color

Firmness

For the full list of attributes that the Clarifruit platform currently evaluates and recommended quality standards for each, download our free app now.

The Clarifruit platform also integrates with 3rd-party technology to evaluate external tomato attributes. Learn more here.

Tomato Growing Seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

HEMISPHERE Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Northern
Southern

Scroll left to see the growing seasons table

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