Comparative study of low cost evaporative cooling systems for storage of tomato.
Tomato is the most important and remunerative crop in India. It undergoes physiological changes even after harvest. These changes have pronounced effect in chemical composition, keeping quality and spoilage. The fruit quality is mainly deteriorated due to physiological activities such as respiration, transpiration and also invasion due to disease causing pathogens. Three evaporative cooling systems to store the tomatoes viz., Drip cooling chamber with gunny bag walls (T1), Drip cooling chamber with Vetiver mat walls (T2), Charcoal cooling chamber (T3) and room temperature storage (T0) were constructed. Treatment T1 showed better results followed by treatment T2, treatment T3 and treatment T0. The shelf-life of tomato in treatment T1 was up to 21 days followed by treatment T2 (18 days), treatment T3 (15 days), treatment T0 (12 days). Thus shelf-life of tomato was increased by 9 days in treatment T1. Cost of evaporative cooling systems was estimated for Treatment T1 as Rs.1,608.79 per meter cubic storage space followed by treatment T2 as Rs.2,858.79 per meter cubic storage space, treatment T3 as Rs.6,450 per meter cubic storage space. Considering the above all treatments, T1 treatment i.e. Drip cooling chamber with gunny bag walls was best suited for storage of tomato with low cost and negligible operational cost.