Você está na página 1de 4

LPEZ CAMELO, A.F.; GMEZ, P.A. Comparison of color indexes for tomato ripening. Horticultura Brasileira, Braslia, v.

22, n.3, p.534-537, jul-set 2004.

Comparison of color indexes for tomato ripening


Andrs F. Lpez Camelo; Perla A. Gmez
INTA E.E.A Balcarce, c.c. 276, 7600 Balcarce, Argentina; E-mail: lopezca@balcarce.inta.gov.ar

ABSTRACT RESUMO
Color in tomato is the most important external characteristic to Comparao dos ndices de cor para maturao do tomate
assess ripeness and postharvest life, and is a major factor in the A cor do tomate a caracterstica externa mais importante que
consumers purchase decision. Degree of ripening is usually permite determinar a maturao e estimar a vida ps-colheita, sendo
estimated by color charts. Colorimeters, on the other hand, express por sua vez um fator importante na deciso de compra por parte do
colors in numerical terms along the L*, a* and b* axes (from white consumidor. O grau de maturao geralmente determinado usando
to black, green to red and blue to yellow, respectively) within the cartas de cores. Sem dvida, com o emprego de colormetros, pode-
CIELAB color sphere which are usually mathematically combined se expressar o grau de maturao em termos de valores nos eixos
to calculate the color indexes. Color indexes and their relationship L*, a* e b* (de branco a preto, verde a vermelho e de azul a amarelo,
to the visual color classification of tomato fruits vine ripened were respectivamente) dentro da esfera de cor CIELAB, que matematica-
compared. L*, a* and b* data (175 observations from eleven mente combinados, permitem calcular os diferentes ndices de cor.
cultivars) from visually classified fruits at harvest in six ripening O objetivo desse trabalho foi comparar, entre si, os distintos ndices
stages according to the USDA were used to calculate hue, chroma, de cor e estudar a relao dos mesmos com a classificao visual
color index, color difference with pure red, a*/b* and (a*/b*)2. por cor, para frutos de tomate amadurecidos na planta. Valores de
ANOVA analysis were performed and means compared by Duncans L*, a* e b* (175 observaes provenientes de onze cultivares) cor-
MRT. Color changes throughout tomato ripening were the result of respondentes a frutos que haviam sido previamente classificados em
significant changes in the values of L*, a* and b*. Under the seis estdios de maturao de acordo com a escala USDA, foram
conditions of this study, hue, color index, color difference and a*/b* empregados para calcular os valores de hue, chroma, ndice de cor,
expressed essentially the same, and the color categories were diferena de cor com o vermelho puro, relao a*/b* e (a*/b*)2. Os
significantly different in terms of human perception, with hue dados foram analisados utilizando-se ANOVA e as mdias foram
showing higher range of values. Chroma was not a good parameter discriminadas pelo teste de Duncan (5%). A variao de cor durante
to express tomato ripeness, but could be used as a good indicator of a maturao provocou variaes significativas em L*, a* e b*. Nas
consumer acceptance when tomatoes are fully ripened. The (a*/b*)2 condies do presente trabalho, ndice de cor, diferena de cor e
relationship had the same limitations as chroma. For vine ripened relao a*/b* tiveram, essencialmente, a mesma expresso, com as
fruits, hue, color index, color difference and a*/b* could be used as categorias de cor significativamente diferentes em termos da per-
objective ripening indexes. It would be interesting to find out what cepo humana, entretanto, o valor de hue mostrou uma variao
the best index would be if ripening took place under inadequate mais ampla de valores. O chroma no foi um bom parmetro para
conditions of temperature and ilumination. expressar os diferentes estdios de maturao, entretanto, seria um
bom indicador de aceitao por parte dos consumidores quando os
frutos se encontrassem totalmente maduros. A relao (a*/b*)2 apre-
sentou as mesmas limitaes que o chroma. Os valores de hue, ndi-
ce de cor, diferena de cor e rela!ao a*/b* podem ser utilizados
indistintamente como ndices quando os frutos amadurecem na plan-
ta. Sem dvida, seria interessante determinar-se qual o melhor n-
dice quando a maturao ocorre sob condies inadequadas de tem-
peratura e iluminao.

Keywords: Lycopersicon esculentum, postharvest, ripeness, color Palavras-chave: Lycopersicon esculentum, ps-colheita, maturao,
changes. mudanas de cor.

(Recebido para publicao em 24 de junho de 2003 e aceito em 25 de maro de 2004)

T omatoes are usually consumed at


their maximum organoleptic quality
which takes place when they reach the
chromoplasts (Fraser et al., 1994).
Based on the external color, the USDA
establishes six ripening stages reflecting
countries have established 10 or even
more different color stages, but an
average consumer has trouble in finding
full red color stage but before excessive human ability to differentiate ripeness: differences between them.
softening. This means that color in green, 100% green; breaker, a Human identification of colors is
tomato is the most important external noticeable break in color with lesser than quite complex where sensations like
characteristic to assess ripeness and 10% of other than green color; turning, brightness, intensity, lightness, vividness
postharvest life and is a major factor in between 10 and 30% of surface, in the and others modify the perception of the
the consumers purchase decision. Red aggregate, of red(ish) color; pink, primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and
color is the result of chlorophyll between 30 and 60% of red(ish) color; their combinations (orange, green,
degradation as well as synthesis of light red, between 60 and 90% and red, purple, etc.), meaning that in many cases
lycopene and other carotenoids, as more than 90% red (The California color definition is a matter of subjective
chloroplasts are converted into Tomato Board, 1975). Some European interpretation. Although some color

534 Hortic. bras., v. 22, n. 3, jul.-set. 2004


Comparison of color indexes for tomato ripening

charts were available by the end of the Tijskens & Evelo, 1994). DSouza et al. relationship to the visual color
18th century, the introduction of the (1992) found a better correlation for classification based in the USDA
NORM color system in 1931 by the CIE lycopene content with (a*/b*)2 than any system.
(Commission Internationale de other chromatic index. Hue angle [tan-1
lEclairage) made it possible to express (b*/a*)] is another parameter that has MATERIAL AND METHODS
color in exact quantitative and numerical been widely used to express tomato color
terms. An improvement of this system changes (Shewfelt et al., 1987; Thai et This study analyzed colorimeter
was developed in 1976 (CIELAB color al., 1990; Choi et al., 1995). readings (175 observations from eleven
space system), which defines color Very few attempts have been made to cultivars) collected in five years where
better related to human perception and incorporate L* into color models. Shewfelt tomatoes were classified at harvest
where all conceivable colors can be et al. (1987) used projected lines on the according to color requirements of the
located within the color sphere defined a*b* plane in three-dimensional plots, USDA standards (six stages). L*, a* and
by three perpendicular axes, L* (from while Thai et al. (1990) proposed the hue, b* values were measured with a Minolta
white to black), a* (green to red) and b* chroma and L* submodels. Yeatman et al. chroma meter (CR-300 with an 8-mm
(blue to yellow) (Figure 1) (Heilderberg (1960) developed a raw tomato juice color aperture) and each record was an average
CPS, 1999) index later found applicable to whole of four measurements on every tomato
The USDA color classification is tomato fruit (Hobson et al., 1983; Dodds fruit (one at the distal area and three in
widely used for tomato fruits. However, et al., 1991) and adapted to the CIEL*a*b* the equatorial zone). Colorimeter was
when more precise color description is system by Lpez Camelo et al. (1995) and calibrated against a standard white tile
needed, colorimeters are used measuring Lpez Camelo & Gmez (1998). (L*= 96.82; a*= -0.02; b*= 2.04,
L*, a* and b* values. Shewfelt (1993) Mathematically, the CIEL*a*b* space illuminant condition C, 6774 K).
stated that humans and colorimeters could be considered as an euclidean space, The different color indexes were
measure color in a different way: where the distance between two points is calculated according to the following
humans see colors in terms of lightness, calculated as the square root of the sum of equations: hue: tan -1 (b*/a*)2; chroma:
hue and chroma1 by integrating complex the squared differences between (a*2 + b*2)0.5; color index: 2000 x a*/L*
perceptions. Hue differences are much components (Prez-Alvarez et al., 1999). x (a*2+b* 2)0.5 (Lpez Camelo et al.,
If one point is a reference color, i.e. true 1995), color difference with true red
more easily detected than variations in
red or green in the equatorial plane (DE): [(L*-50)2 + (a*-60)2 +b*2] 0.5, a*/
chroma or lightness. Instruments, on the
(coordinates: L*=50, a*=+60, b*=0; b* and (a*/b*)2. Data were plotted and
other hand, are capable of seeing pure
L*=50, a*=-60, b*=0, respectively), the ANOVA analysis was performed.
values of any L*, a* and b* in the
euclidean distance from any color locus Means were compared by multiple range
absence of the others.
related to the true color could be tests (Duncan, 5%).
A given color is fully defined when
calculated. The advantage of this method
the achromatic component L* (relative RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
darkness or lightness) is measured in is that all color parameters are included
addition to the chromatic descriptors (a* and fully independent from each other.
and b* values) (Prez-Alvarez et al., This color difference was used by Yang et The a* component showed the most
1999; Heildelberg CPS, 1999). However, al. (1990) in tomato and by Reyes et al. obvious change, following a typical
most of the tomato literature mainly (1995) who developed a whiteness sigmoid trend (Figure 2). No major
express color changes in terms of index to express the amount of whitening changes were observed when fruits were
different mathematical combinations of of minimally processed carrots. In this still predominately green (mature green
b* and a* on the chromatic equatorial case, coordinates of pure white (L*=100, to breaker) or red (light red to red), but
plane. Some researchers, for example, a*=0, b*=0) were used. there was a sharp increase between
have only used a* values (Goodenough Which is the best color index to stages 2 and 5 (breaker to light red) with
et al., 1982; Cantwell, 1998), while many express color changes in tomato is a a* changing from negative (green color)
others (Babbitt et al., 1973; Gormley & question that remains to be answered, to positive (red color) values, as a
Egan, 1978, Yang & Chinnan, 1987; defining as best that which is closer to consequence of both, chlorophyll
McDonald et al., 1999) have used the a*/ human perception, taking into account degradation and lycopene synthesis. L*
b* relationship. This ratio has been also values did not change until the turning
that the average consumer has trouble
utilized to develop mathematical models stage, indicating that there was not
to differentiate more than six ripening
in order to express color changes at change in lightness when the green color
stages. Then, the objective of this
different or constant temperatures was still predominant. When red color
research was to compare all color
(Thorne & Segurajauregui Alvarez, 1982; pigments started to be synthesized, a
indexes used in the literature in decreasing L* value indicated the

1
Hue or true color is the angle between the color vector and the a+ axis, chroma (purity or saturation) is the distance between the color locus and the mid-point.
Both on the equatorial plane (a* - b*) of the color sphere.
By definition chroma=0 for white and black colors.
2
When a* < 0, H= 180+ tan -1 (b*/a*)

Hortic. bras., v. 22, n. 3, jul.-set. 2004 535


A. F. Lpes Camelo & P. A. Gmez

the vine, where changes along the green-


red axis (a*) are so big that mask any other
change in the other two parameters.
Chroma did not change in the earlier
ripening stages for a later increase as the
tomatoes changed from pink to light red
to finally decline at the red stage (Table
1). Although a chroma submodel has been
proposed (Thai et al., 1990), it is not a good
indicator of tomato ripening because it
essentially is an expression of the purity
or saturation of a single color (different
colors may have the same chroma values).
In the case of tomato ripening, different
colors are present simultaneously since
chlorophyll is degraded from green to
colorless compounds at the same time that
carotenoids are synthesized from colorless
precursor (phytoene) to -carotene (pale-
Figure 1. The CIELAB color space system. Balcarce, Argentina. INTA E.E.A. Balcarce, 2001. yellow), lycopene (red), -carotene
(orange) and xanthophylls and
hydroxylated carotenoids (yellow)
(Giuliano et al., 1993), in a kind of parallel
biosynthetic pathway (Horton & Stark,
1969). Additionally, as chroma is
calculated by squaring a* and b* values it
makes positive the negative a* values
(green color) masking its influence. Lastly,
the lower values tend to be those where
a* readings are close to 0 (turning stage,
Figure 2). Because chroma reflects color
purity or saturation, it could be a good
indicator of consumer acceptance when
tomatoes are completely ripe. Calculations
based on a* and b* values obtained from
a comparison of consumer preference
between orange and different intensity of
red cultivars (Gorini & Testoni, 1990),
indicated that chroma is more related to
Figure 2. L*, a* and b* mean values at different ripening stages of tomato fruits. consumer acceptance than hue, indicating
(Values with the same letter within each color parameter are not different, Duncan, 5%).
Balcarce, Argentina. INTA E.E.A. Balcarce, 2001.
their preference for more red cultivars.
Finally, due to the fact that squaring makes
positive the negative values, the
darkening of the red color (from pink to Analysis of calculated ripening mathematical relationship (a*/b*)2 also
full red). As some researchers showed failed to detect differences between the
indexes indicated that hue, color index,
previously (Lpez Camelo et al., 1995; turning and pink color stages (Table 1).
color difference and a*/b* were essentially
Lpez Camelo & Gmez, 1998; Arias expressing the same (Table 1). In all these In postharvest studies, however,
et al., 2000), b* values changed very cases, differences between visual ripening constant or abnormal light and
little during ripening and, although not stages were significant, showing hue a temperature conditions may influence
significant, values were higher at the L*, a* and b* values and the ripening
higher range of values and, like color
pink-light red stage. This may be related index to be used should be carefully
difference, a negative trend. Color index
to the fact that -carotenes (pale-yellow selected. Although Horton & Stark
and a*/b* increased with higher (1969) did not find differences in
color) reach their highest concentration
percentage of red color. Our data indicated carotenoid synthesis between light
before full ripening, where lycopene
that those mathematical relationships
(red color) and -carotene (orange color) exposed and shaded fruits, Shewfelt et
among color parameters may be al. (1987) indicated that the screening
achieve their peaks (Fraser et al., 1994;
applicable at least for fruits ripening on out of light inhibited -carotene
Choi et al., 1995).

536 Hortic. bras., v. 22, n. 3, jul.-set. 2004


Comparison of color indexes for tomato ripening

synthesis. In the same way, Thomas & Table 1. Ripening indexes values for tomato fruits harvested at different color stages. Balcarce,
Jen (1975) found that exposure to light Argentina. INTA E.E.A. Balcarce, 2001.
could lead to increased accumulation of Visual Color Color
Chroma Hue a* /b* (a* /b* )
-carotene. Color index difference
Color development in tomatoes is M. Green 29.3, a1/ 113.3, a -14.6, a 76.7, a -0.43, a 0.19, a
temperature sensitive with better plastid Breaker 29.8, a 109.1, b -11.9, b 75.4, b -0.35, b 0.12, b
conversion occurring above 12C and Turning 28.9, a 93.2, c -2.0, c 68.2, c -0.06, c 0.02, c
below 30C (Thai et al., 1990). Tijskens Pink 31.0, a 78.1, d 7.8, d 61.6, d 0.21, d 0.05, c
& Evelo (1994) demonstrated that b* Light Red 33.7, b 64.9, e 17.1, e 54.7, e 0.48, e 0.26, d
suffered big changes if tomatoes were Red 29.9, ab 59.3, f 21.8, f 51.7, f 0.59, f 0.36, e
ripened at high temperatures (over 1/
Values with the same letter within the same column are not significantly different (Duncan, 5%).
30C) and yellowing took place due to
the inhibition of lycopene synthesis and
the accumulation of yellow/orange CANTWELL, M. Optimum procedures for LOPEZ CAMELO, A.F.; GOMEZ, P.A. Modeling
carotenoids. On the other hand, at low ripening tomatoes. In: KADER, A. (Ed.) postharvest color changes in long shelf life
temperatures (below 12C), chlorophyll Management of fruit ripening, Postharvest tomatoes. In: INTERNATIONAL
Horticulture Series. University of California, HORTICULTURAL CONGRESS, 25, 1998.
is not degraded and lycopene Brussels, Belgium. Abstracts, ISHS, p. 9
Davis, n. 9. Postharvest Outreach Program, 1998.
accumulation does not take place. This CHOI, K.; LEE, G.; HAN, Y.J.; BUNN, J.M. supplement.
may indicate that under other than Tomato maturity evaluation using color image McDONALD, R.E.; McCOLLUM, T.G.;
normal ripening conditions, changes in analysis. Transactions of the ASAE, v.38, n.1, BALDWIN, E.A. Temperature of water heat
p.171-176. 1995. treatments influences tomato fruit quality
the b* values may compensate or following low-temperature storage. Postharvest
DODDS, G.T.; BROWN, J.W.; LUDFORD, P.
exaggerate a* magnitudes, depending on Biology and Technology, v.16, p.147-155, 1999.
Surface color changes of tomato and other
their mathematical relationship, leading solanaceous fruit during chilling. Journal of the PEREZ-ALVAREZ, J.A.; FERNANDEZ-
to misleading results. This indicates that American Society for Horticultural Science, v.166, LOPEZ, J.; SAYAS, M.E.; ROSMINI, M.R.
Determinacin objetiva del color en los alimen-
under abnormal ripening conditions, b* n.3, p.482-490, 1991.
tos. TechnoFOOD, n.11, p.18-28, 1999.
and L* changes may be important and DSOUZA, M.C.; SINGHA, S.; INGLE, M.
REYES, V.G.; SIMONS, L.; TRAN, C. Preservation
Lycopene concentration of tomato fruit can be
the ripening index to be used should be of minimally processed carrots by edible coating and
estimated from chromaticity values. HortScience, acid treatment. In: AUSTRALASIAN
carefully selected. v.27, n.5, p.465-466, 1992. POSTHARVEST HORTICULTURE
Color changes during tomato FRASER, P.D.; TRUESDALE, M.R.; BIRD, CONFERENCE, p.451-456, 1995.
C.R.; SCHUCH, W.; BRAMLEY, P.M. Carotenoid SHEWFELT, R.L. Measuring quality and
ripening were the result of changes in biosynthesis during tomato fruit development. maturity. In: SHEWFELT, R.L.; PRUSSIA, S.E.
the values of L*, a* and b*, although Plant Physiology, v.105, p.405-413, 1994. (Eds.) Postharvest handling: a systems approach.
the more important ones were along the GOODENOUGH, P.W.; TUCKER; G.A.; New York, Academic Press, p.99-124, 1993.
a* axis, related to chlorophyll GRIERSON, D.; THOMAS, T. Changes in color, SHEWFELT, R.L.; PRUSSIA, S.E.;
polygalacturonase monosaccharides and organic RESURRECCION, A.V.; HURST, W.C.;
degradation and lycopene synthesis. acids during storage of tomatoes. Phytochemistry, CAMPBELL, D.T. Quality changes of vine-
Accurate color identification among the v.21, p.281-284, 1982. ripened tomatoes within the postharvest handling
six ripening stages based on USDA GORINI, F.L.; TESTONI, A. The relation between system. Journal of Food Science, v.52, n.3, p.66l-
visual classification should include the colour and quality of vegetables. Acta 672, 1987.
three parameters. In vine ripening Horticulturae, v.259, p.31-60, 1990. THAI, C.N.; SHEWFELT, R.L.; GARNER, J.C.
GORMLEY, R.; EGAN, S. Firmness and colour Tomato color changes under constant and variable
conditions hue, color index, color of the fruit of some tomato cultivars from various storage temperatures: empirical models. Transactions
difference and a*/b* relationships could sources during storage. Journal of Science Food of the ASAE, v.33, n.2, p.607-614, 1990.
be used as objective ripening indexes Agriculture, v.29, p.534-538, 1978. THE CALIFORNIA TOMATO BOARD. Ripening
GIULIANO, G.; BARTLEY, G.E.; SCOLNIK, stages for tomatoes. USDA visual aid. 1975.
giving a realistic estimation of consumer THOMAS, R.L.; JEN, J.J. Phytochrome-mediated
P.A. Regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis during
perception, being a*/b* sufficient for tomato development. The Plant Cell, v.5, p.379- carotenoids bio-synthesis in ripening tomatoes.
practical purposes. The best index 387, 1993. Plant Physiology, v.56, p.452-453, 1975.
should be established, however, when HEILDELBERG CPS, Americas. Color manager THORNE, S.; SEGURAJAUREGUI-ALVAREZ,
manual. Disponvel em: <http:// J.S. The effect of irregular storage temperatures
fruits are ripened under limiting on firmness and surface colour in tomatoes.
w w w. h e i d e l b e rg c p s . c o m / c o l o r m a n /
temperature or illumination conditions. sp_ciela_1.htm>. Acesso em 1999. Journal of Science Food Agricultural, v.33, p.671-
676, 1982.
HOBSON, G.E.; ADAMS, P.; DIXON, T.J.
TIJSKENS, L.M.; EVELO, R.G. Modeling colour
CITED LITERATURE Assessing the colour of tomato fruit during
of tomatoes during postharvest storage. Postharvest
ripening. Journal of Science Food Agricultural,
Biology and Technology, v.4, p.85-98, 1994.
v.34, p.286-292, 1983.
ARIAS, R.; LEE, T.; LOGENDRA, L.; JANES, YANG, C.; CHINAN, M. Modeling of color
HORTON, B.D.; STARK, F.C. Developmental development of tomatoes in modified atmosphere
H. Correlation of lycopene measured by HPLC rates and biosynthesis of carotenoids in tomatoes
with the L*, a*, b* color readings of a hydroponic storage. Transactions of the ASAE, v.30, n.2,
(Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) as influenced by p.548-543, 1987.
tomato and the relationship of maturity with color two solar radiation levels. Maryland Agricultural
and lycopene content. Journal of Agricultural YANG, R.F.; CHENG, T.S.; SHEWFELT, R.L..
Experimental Station Bulletin. 1969. 19 p. The effect of high temperature and ethylene
Food Chemistry, v.48, p.1697-1702, 2000. LOPEZ CAMELO, A.F.; GOMEZ, P.A.; treatment on the ripening of tomatoes. Journal of
BABBIT, J.K.; POWERS, M.J.; PATTERSON, CACACE, J.E. Modelo para describir los cambios Plant Physiology, v.136, p.368-372, 1990
M.E. Effects of growth-regulators on cellulase, de color en tomate (cv. Tommy) durante la YEATMAN, J.N.; SIDWELL, A.P.; NORRIS, K.H.
polygalacturonase, respiration, color and texture of poscosecha. In: CONGRESO ARGENTINO DE Derivation of a new formula for computing raw
ripening tomatoes. Journal of the American Society HORTICULTURA, 18, 1995. Termas de Ro juice color from objective color measurements.
for Horticultural Science, v.98, n.1, p.77-81, 1973. Hondo, Argentina. Resmenes, ASAHO, p.212. Food Technology, v.14, p.16-20, 1960.

Hortic. bras., v. 22, n. 3, jul.-set. 2004 537