Evaluation and improvement of exist1ng packaging methods for wholesale marketing of tomato fruits in Ghana

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Three experiments including a survey, laboratory analyses, designing and developing an improved packaging unit were conducted to evaluate and improve upon the existing packaging types and methods for marketing of tomato fruits in Ghana. The survey was carried out in four major tomato growing/marketing areas within Ashanti and Upper East Regions of Ghana. This was achieved through administering questionnaire to three sectors of the tomato industry, namely:- producers/farmers, distributors/wholesalers and retailers. Based on the survey results, two wooden crate sizes, small and big, found to be the most common packaging units for bulk distribution of fresh tomato fruits in Ghana were evaluated. Tomato fruits, transported in these two different crate sizes, from the four farm-gates (Tono, Vea, Akumadan and Agogo) to the Kumasi wholesale market, were sorted into fruits that were with slight damages, those not damaged at all, i.e., sound fruits and fruits that were completely squashed. The fruits were then analysed for ascorbic acid, pH, titratable acidity as percent citric acid, total soluble solids and reducing sugars according to crate size. In the small crates, the number of sound fruits was significantly (P<0.05) higher than those in the big crates. Yet, they were not effective enough to be employed in an economic venture considering the percent damage (56%) it recorded. Besides, tomato fruit quality characteristics such as pH, percent titratable acidity, percent soluble solids, percent reducing sugars and ascorbic acid contents were not significantly affected by the crate sizes evaluated. Based on the results of the survey and laboratory analyses and literature available, an improved wooden crate designed, constructed and evaluated achieved a 91% of its total fruit content by weight as sound fruits.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science degree in Post-Harvest Physiology, 2002