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A Review of Packaging Options for Tomato Smallholder Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Tomatoproduction systems in developing countries are characterized by high postharvest losses. Due to the perishability of tomatoes, lack of awareness andknowledge of postharvest handling techniques, and poor packaging, farmersencounter 20 - 50 postharvest losses. Farmers use traditional baskets, wooden, andplastic crates as packaging materials during transportation of tomatoes.However, tomatoes are often damaged due to the size and inner rough surface ofcrates and the difficulty in handling. The need for fresh tomato at theconsumer requires a packaging that protects tomatoes against physical damages,increasing its shelf life prior to consumption. Packaging is important in ensuringquality, easing handling, extending the shelf life during storage and transportationof food products. However, the conventional use of synthetic-based materialsfor advanced packaging contributes to environmental problems because of theirnon-biodegradability and health concerns. This review article highlights thedifferent materials used for packaging tomato and the prospects of usingpapaya, as a precursor for developing tomato packages.

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