DETERMINATION OF SHELF LIFE AND VITAMIN C CONTENT OF HOME MADE TOMATO PASTE
Keywords:Tomato, Tomato paste, Preservation, Shelf life, Vitamin C.
Post harvest loses are major challenges faced by farmers in general. In view of this, ripe, firm and matured tomato fruits were locally processed into paste by blending ripe tomato hits into slurry after blanching. The slurry was boiled at 100C until thickened to form tomato paste, which was divided into 4 samples; A, B, C and D. The samples were stored and preserved under different conditions in order to identify the most suitable method of preservation. The sample stored at ambient temperature was labeled Sample A; at refrigerated temperature (Sample B), Paste with salt at ambient temperature (Sample C) and Paste with vegetable oil at ambient temperature (Sample D). Shelf life was observed by observing the growth of fungi initiation, while Vitamin C contents were determined by AOAC method. Sample B had the longest shelf life of 20 days before sign of spoilage was initiated while other samples got spoilt within 3 days. On the first day of production of the paste, Vitamin C content was 16.0mg/100g as against 17.8mg in commercially produced paste, whereas the contents after day 2 reduced to 11.0mg, 15.0mg and 12.5mg in Samples A, B and D respectively. There was no noticeable Vitamin C in Sample C while vitamin C content in Sample B (15.0mg) was steady after 5, 10 and 15days of storage in refrigerated temperature. The study concluded that, home-made tomato paste stored under refrigerated condition favoured the shelf life and Vitamin C content. Refrigeration is largely dependent on electricity; therefore constant electricity supply will be needed for preservation of home-made tomato paste.