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

Tadeo Mibulo, Noble Banadda, Nicholas Kiggundu

Abstract: Tomato production systems in developing countries are characterized by high post harvest losses. Due to the perishability of tomatoes, lack of awareness and knowledge of postharvest handling techniques, and poor packaging, farmers encounter 20% - 50% postharvest losses. Farmers use traditional baskets, wooden, and plastic crates as packaging materials during transportation of tomatoes. However, tomatoes are often damaged due to the size and inner rough surface of crates and the difficulty in handling. The need for fresh tomato at the consumer requires a packaging that protects tomatoes against physical damages, increasing its shelf life prior to consumption. Packaging is important in ensuring quality, easing handling, extending the shelf life during storage and transportation of food products. However, the conventional use of synthetic-based materials for advanced packaging contributes to environmental problems because of their non-biodegradability and health concerns. This review article highlights the different materials used for packaging tomato and the prospects of using papaya, as a precursor for developing tomato packages.
Keywords: Packaging / Tomato / Biofilms / Sub-Saharan Africa / Papaya

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