Project Title

Differences in Thermal and Physiological Properties of Organically and Conventionally Grown Tomato Plants

Academic department under which the project should be listed

Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Mario Bretfeld

Additional Faculty

Dr. Sathish Gurupatham, sgurupat@kennesaw.edu

Project Type

Event

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Post-harvest food waste is in part the result of increasingly long supply chains driven by urbanization and globalization that jeopardize food security of billions of people. The shelf life of fruits and vegetables is directly linked to the rate of post-harvest metabolic processes driven by cellular respiration – a process that releases heat. This heat in turn may speed up respiration and thus shorten the commodity’s shelf life. The thermal properties of a fruit or vegetable depend on its physical and biochemical properties, which in turn depend on the environmental conditions in which it was grown. Many fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, are significantly different in their biochemical composition when grown organically compared to conventionally. The effects of different biochemical composition on thermal properties, and thus the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, are observed in this study. We compared organically grown tomatoes with conventionally grown tomatoes regarding their thermal signatures utilizing cutting-edge plant physiological measurements (e.g. leaf-level gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence). The results from this study we conclude that organic plants show higher rates of respiration through the observed higher thermal properties. In addition, the rates of transpiration were greater in the ____ watering treatment. Cambridge University points out “consumers’ willingness to pay for marginal changes [associated with organic] production practices that lessen the impact on the environment…[in addition to being] grown using less water” (Maples et al., 2017). The tomatoes being grown at the KSU Field Station are used for local consumption on campus and around the city of Kennesaw. With the results from this study, we suggest that the KSU Field Station continue using their organic blend and using the [100% / 120% ] watering treatment in order to maximize yield and quality and minimize waste.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Differences in Thermal and Physiological Properties of Organically and Conventionally Grown Tomato Plants

Post-harvest food waste is in part the result of increasingly long supply chains driven by urbanization and globalization that jeopardize food security of billions of people. The shelf life of fruits and vegetables is directly linked to the rate of post-harvest metabolic processes driven by cellular respiration – a process that releases heat. This heat in turn may speed up respiration and thus shorten the commodity’s shelf life. The thermal properties of a fruit or vegetable depend on its physical and biochemical properties, which in turn depend on the environmental conditions in which it was grown. Many fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, are significantly different in their biochemical composition when grown organically compared to conventionally. The effects of different biochemical composition on thermal properties, and thus the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, are observed in this study. We compared organically grown tomatoes with conventionally grown tomatoes regarding their thermal signatures utilizing cutting-edge plant physiological measurements (e.g. leaf-level gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence). The results from this study we conclude that organic plants show higher rates of respiration through the observed higher thermal properties. In addition, the rates of transpiration were greater in the ____ watering treatment. Cambridge University points out “consumers’ willingness to pay for marginal changes [associated with organic] production practices that lessen the impact on the environment…[in addition to being] grown using less water” (Maples et al., 2017). The tomatoes being grown at the KSU Field Station are used for local consumption on campus and around the city of Kennesaw. With the results from this study, we suggest that the KSU Field Station continue using their organic blend and using the [100% / 120% ] watering treatment in order to maximize yield and quality and minimize waste.