Development and Performance Evaluation of a Tomato Packaging Container using Acrilonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene Plastic Sheets

Taofiq O Olanrewaju, Peter A Idah, Zinash D Osunde, AbdulSalam Kovo, Akeem O Lawal


Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is one of the world’s major fresh and processed fruit and is the second most important vegetable crop after potato worldwide. Manual harvesting is commonly done which results in poor handling and huge postharvest losses. To reduce postharvest losses, an alternative tomato packaging container was developed using Acrilonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) plastic sheet, and its performance was evaluated. The ABS plastic sheet was cut, fixed to the plastic holder, placed on top of the oven, and heated to soften. The softened plastic was then gently placed on the mould, and a vacuum pump was switched on till the plastic takes the shape of the mould. The container was subjected to a compression test using Dennison Universal Testing Machine (UTM) to determine the maximum bearable load. The containers were filled with fresh tomato fruits, and the farm gate weight, market weight, damaged weight, transit weight loss was measured using a weighing scale while the bruised area was measured using mathematical expressions. Results revealed that the developed baskets could accommodate a maximum compression force of 904 N, which implies that five baskets of fresh tomato fruits can be stacked on top of one another with minimal bruise damage and percentage damaged weight of 20 cm2 and 5% respectively. The tendency of the plastic packaging container to be stacked on top of one another with minimal postharvest losses makes it better than the conventional baskets currently used for packaging and transporting fresh tomato fruits.

Keywords - Tomato, postharvest losses, packaging container, bruise area

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