A novel method for the quantification of interfacial  tomato stresses during transportation

https://doi.org/10.17221/64/2015-RAECitation:Steyn W.J.v.d.M. (2017): A novel method for the quantification of interfacial  tomato stresses during transportation. Res. Agr. Eng., 63: 128-135.
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Transportation of tomatoes on farm and market roads causes interfacial stresses of tomatoes due to truck dynamics as affected by road and transportation conditions. These stresses may affect the shelf-life of tomatoes if they are high enough to cause damage to the fruit. This paper describes a novel method for the in situ measurement of the stresses during actual transportation of tomatoes, providing the producer information that can assist in taking decisions regarding the use of alternative routes, maintenance of existing routes or changes in packing to prevent excessive stresses onto tomatoes. The process involves measurement of the stresses using a stress-sensor that is recording the interfacial stresses continuously during transportation. These stresses can be correlated to road conditions (quantified through standard road-roughness statistics) and used to subject tomatoes in laboratory conditions to similar stresses to study shelf-life effects of transportation stresses. The paper focuses on the measurement process and first-order data analysis, and excludes a detailed study on the physiological effects of the measured stresses on tomatoes.
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