The intensity of tomato taste is affected by the increase of total soluble solids (TSS). Tomato fruit is characterized by its high TSS content that could be modified by different metabolic and physiological pathways. These pathways can be affected by pre and postharvest factors having a marked effect in the quality of tomato fruit at consumer ripeness. In this study, an increase of the electrical conductivity (EC) of the nutrient solution (2.2 dS m−1 and 4.5 dS m−1) in two crop cycles of soilless tomate: fall-winter and spring-summer were evaluated. The evolution of physico-chemical and physiological parameters associated to fruit quality at different developmental stages and differences in compounds associated to the primary metabolism and taste (sugars, organic acids and aminoacids) and with a sensory panel at the red stage for both EC treatments and crop cycles were evaluated. The fall-winter cycle with the highest 4.5 dS m−1 EC level presented not only higher content of TSS associated to a higher concentration of aminoacids (L-serine, threonine, L-aspartic and glutamate) that possibly affected the taste and were positively perceived by the sensory panel. However, the spring-summer cycle with the highest level of EC (4.5 dS m−1) presented a higher concentration of TSS and organic acids during early stages of fruit development and were not perceived positively by the sensory panel. The present study provides interesting and useful results with direct commercial application to obtain better taste tomatoes.
- Different developmental stages
- Fruit quality, Electrical conductivity
- Solanum lycopersicum