Value addition in tomato production


Value addition                – is the process of changing or transforming a product from its original state to a more valuable state.

Shelf life                          – the length of time for which an item remains usable, fit for consumption, or sealable.

Post harvest handling   – is the stage of crop production immediately following harvest, including cooling, cleaning, sorting and packing.

Where does it begin?

Value addition begins from the farm/ field.

Post-harvest losses occur in the period between harvesting and consumption

Due to heavy post harvest losses, there is a considerable gap between tomato and availability of quality produce in the market.

Thus, there is an urgent need to adopt proper post harvest management practices by adopting improved; packaging, handling and efficient transportation methods.

Factors affecting shelf life

Pre harvest factors

  1. Pruning-flowers, fruits, or fruit trusses pruning   in tomatoes is an effective way of reducing the competition between fruits hence achieving desired fruit size.
  2. Maturity stage-Tomato can be harvested at different stages during maturity, g. mature green, half ripen, or red ripen stage.
  3. Fertilizer application

      Note:Potassium: improves fruit color and reduces incidents of yellow shoulder

Postharvest Factors Affecting the  Quality of Tomatoes

Temperature -High temperatures can hasten the rate of respiration (CO2 production) in harvested or stored fruits products.

Relative Humidity -At high relative humidity, harvested fruits maintain their nutritional quality, appearance, weight, and flavor, whilst reducing the rate at which wilting, softening, and juiciness occur.

Physical handling

Nutritive Value

Infographics about nutrients in tomato.


What are the minimum requirements for classification of fresh produce?

i.Free from chemical contaminants

ii.Free from any dangerous organisms

iii.Free from any odours

iv.Free from fungus growth.

v.Free from insects.

Packaging Materials


Types of packaging materials for fresh produce

1. Basket made of woven strips of leaves, bamboo, plastic etc.

2. Sacks: flexible, made of plastic or jute.

3. Bags: small size sacks

4. Nets: sacks made of open mesh

5. Wooden crates

6. Fibreboard boxes

i) Solid fibreboard boxes

ii) Corrugated fibreboard boxes

7. Plastic crates

8. Biodegradable plastics

9. New innovations in packaging of fruits, vegetables and root crops

10. Pallet boxes and shipping containers

Packaging materials serve the following purposes

1. As an efficient handling unit

2. Protection from mechanical damage

3. Protection against moisture loss

4. Provides clean and sanitary storage

5. Prevention of pilferage

6. Provides sales and service motivation

7. Reduces cost of transport and marketing

Precautionary measures during packing

1.Containers should not be filled either too loosely or too tightly because loose products may vibrate against each other and cause bruising

2. Over-packing results in compression bruising

3. Proper filling along with cushioning can minimize bruising damage

Processing tomato

You can process tomato into;


a. Ketchup

b. Sauce

c. Soup

d. Juice

e. Powder

Drying tomatoes as a value addition option

Dehydration removes water from tomatoes in order to preserve them.Best tomato to dry are dry , firm and meaty.

Factors that determine the drying period

i.tomato variety

ii.Humidity during drying

iii.Thickness of slices of the tomatoes

iv.Efficiency of drier

Successful dehydration is dependent on air circulation and temperature. Too low a temperature the tomatoes will dry too slowly, giving bacteria or mold a chance to grow. While high temp. above 77 degree tomatoes cook and harden from outside. Properly dried tomatoes have a dark red color and feel dry and leathery, but not hard or brittle.

In conclusion, value addition products are limited only by your imagination. You may decide to come up with a single product or a whole range. Or even throw caution to the wind and produce a little bit of everything. But always have in mind your business plan. Who is the market for your value-added product (s)? How will you advertise? Will you sell directly to consumers or to wholesalers or retail establishments?

4 thoughts on “Value addition in tomato production

  1. Kevinsob says:

    In general, adding value is the process of changing or transforming a product from its original state to a more valuable state. Many raw commodities have intrinsic value in their original state. For example, field corn grown, harvested and stored on a farm and then fed to livestock on that farm has value. In fact, value usually is added by feeding it to an animal, which transforms the corn into animal protein or meat. The value of a changed product is added value, such as processing wheat into flour. It is important to identify the value-added activities that will support the necessary investment in research, processing and marketing. The application of biotechnology, the engineering of food from raw products to the consumers and the restructuring of the distribution system to and from the producer all provide opportunities for adding value.
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  2. Warren_Fus says:

    In order to scale up the provision of training and business support services to farmers and agribusinesses in Africa, LRC formed a new company called Latia Agribusiness Solutions Limited (LAS LAS’ mission is to modernize agriculture and improve food and income security in Africa through practical training, adequate dissemination of knowledge and technology and the provision of business support services to farmers and agribusinesses. For this to happen, LRC has invited new investors to come on board as shareholders in LAS. The joining of Agritech and Delphy as shareholders will strengthen the capabilities of LAS to support farmers and agribusinesses across Africa and create a dynamic knowledge infrastructure. LAS will gain access to a large pool of expertise and innovative developments in the field of agriculture and horticulture, relevant to Africa. This will help LAS to accelerate the knowledge development and implementation from a local (Kenyan and African) perspective, adding the strengths of te new shareholders.
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