Tomato paste production at the rural/small scale level

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Tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill is grown on a large scale in Ghana. Tomatoes like other fruits and vegetables play a very important role in the diet of many Ghanaians, offering the most rapid and lowest cost of vitamins, minerals and energy supplies. However, a large volume of the tomatoes go to waste due to lack of effective storage or processing at the site of production during the bumper season. This study was carried out to develop a simple process for the production of tomato paste and to assess the most suitable variety for production and the quality of the paste produced. The results of the study showed that process A was the most efficient and easily adaptable method for tomato paste production at the rural and small scale level and of the three varieties (Power, Rasta and Reno) assessed, the Rasta variety gave the highest yield of paste. The quality of the paste produced was very good due to its appreciable high mineral content, high total sugar levels, appreciable total soluble solids and high vitamin C content. The moisture, ash, total soluble solids and the total sugar contents were not significantly affected by storage time, pretreatment and type of packaging material. However, pH, titratable acidity, red colour, vitamin C and mold count were significantly affected (P<0.05) by storage time, pretreatment and type of packaging material. Of the two packing materials used (glass bottles and polyethylene pouches), the glass was better for the packaging of the tomato paste. The sensory analysis conducted on the tomato paste revealed that the colour, the flavour and the taste of paste were very good.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science in Food Science and Technology, 2000