Tomato Ethylene Ripening

banana ethylene ripening generator

Tomatoes

    • Mature tomatoes are necessary for good ripening results.
    • Temperature range of 60° - 65° should be used when ripening.
    • Ripener I Concentrate should be used in ARCO Ethylene Generators to produce ethylene for proper ripening. Maintain 100 - 150 PPM of ethylene.
    • Tomatoes should reach "breaker" stage within 24 - 36 hours.
    • Room should be vented every 6 to 12 hours or use "flow through" ventilation to keep the CO2 levels less than 2%.
    • Maintain high humidity, ideally 90%.
    • Provide sufficient airflow to maintain uniform temperatures in the room.
    • Tomatoes should be ripened as soon after harvest as possible.
    • Check equipment periodically. Use smoke candles annually to test rooms for tightness.
    • Do not use ethylene generators in rooms less than 1500 cubic feet.
  • Temperature range for ripening: 64° to 70°F (18° to 21°C)

  • Humidity for ripening & storage: 85 - 95% RH (90%-95% ideal)

  • Air Circulation: Sufficient to provide even pulp temperatures throughout the ripening room.

  • Ventilation: Use “flow-through” ventilation or vent room 10-20 minutes every 12 hours (manually or by automatic fan). A diagram of "Flow Through Ventilation," designed to continuously vent Carbon Dioxide from the ripening room and introduce fresh air, resulting in more uniform ripening, can be seen at this link: "Suggested Flow-Through Diagram". It also describes how to calculate the fan size for each room.

  • Ethylene: Maintain 100-150 ppm until a “breaker” or Stage #2+ is reached, usually 24-48 hours (depending on temperature and maturity).

  • Mature Tomatoes: Mature green tomatoes will ripen after harvesting in the same manner as they would on the plant, thanks to an external source of ethylene in the ripening room that triggers the fruit to release its own ethylene. However, immature tomatoes will erratically respond to external ethylene and possibly result in poor quality or delayed ripening. Harvest or receive only mature fruit.

  • Ripen tomatoes as soon as possible. Whenever possible, avoid “holding” and delayed ripening. Tomatoes will respond their best and ripen evenly when external ethylene is applied soon after harvest. On average, fruit ripened at 64° to 70°F to a breaker stage can then be stored for more than two weeks at 55°F (12.5°C) until a full red (stage #6) color is reached.

  • Regularly take pulp temperature readings (at least twice per day) of each load of tomatoes and refer to these readings as you ripen.

  • Maintain pulp temperatures in the correct range at all times. The greatest cause of tomatoes suffering a big loss in flavor and retail quality is cold. When tomato pulp temperatures are allowed to stray out of the proper temperature range, internal damage results in a mushy appearance of flavor decline. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that pulp temperatures remain above 55°F (12.5°C) at all times and at all stages of ripeness. When shipping tomatoes on mixed loads at air temperatures less than 55°F (55°F (12.5°C), use some form of protection such as insulated or plastic pallet covers to hold the fruit’s heat in.