Effect of different concentrations of Biozyme on the physico-chemical properties of F1 Castle Bar Hybrid Tomato (Solanum lycopersicon)

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The tomato sector in Ghana has failed to realize its full potential, in terms of attaining yields comparable to other countries, chemical and nutritional compositions, prolonged shelf life and marketability in improving livelihoods of those households involved in tomato production. The need therefore arose to investigate the use of Biozymes to enhance production and significantly assess its effects on the nutritional, chemical and the postharvest shelf life of tomatoes. Hence, field and laboratory investigations were conducted in the year 2014-2015 to study the effect of different concentrations of Biozyme on the physico-chemical properties, growth, yield, quality and shelf life of F1 Castle Bar tomato. The treatments consisted of Biozyme rates as follows; (i) 0.00 lha-1 biozyme (control) (ii) 0.75 lha-1 biozyme (iii) 1.00 lha-1 biozyme (iv)1.25 lha-1 biozyme. Recommended rates of NPK (15-15-15) for tomato were applied to all the plants. Application of biozyme at 0.75 lha-1 resulted in the tallest plants (119.42 cm), biggest stems (1.99 mm), largest plant canopy (97.5 cm2) as well as producing the highest (17.77) number of fruits. Application of 0.75 lha-1 biozyme also resulted in big fruit diameter which was similar to the diameters of fruits from the other biozyme treatments. In addition, fruits from the 0.75 lha-1 biozyme treatment were more firm than those of the control but similar to the firmness of fruits from the other biozyme rates. Fruits from the 1.0 lha-1 biozyme treatment had the thickest mesocarp, yet similar to the mesocarp from the 0.75 lha-1 biozyme treatment. No significant differences were however observed between the biozyme treatments for fruit pH (P=0.089), total soluble solids (P=0.755) and total titrable acidity (P=0.156). Fruits from the 0.75 lha-1 and 1.25 lha-1 biozyme treatments had significantly lower vitamin C content than the control which contained the highest. Biozyme positively affected fruit shelf life such that on the average, biozyme treatment extended the fruit shelf life by 7 days in comparison with the control. The study concluded that application of Biozyme to tomato positively affected its vegetative growth, fruit yield and postharvest quality characteristics. The application of 0.75 lha-1 concentration of Biozymes performed best in plant girth, plant canopy, leaf diameter and plant chlorophyll.
A thesis submitted to The School of Research and Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Philosophy (M. Phil. Postharvest Technology) Degree, 2015