Brixtoner Evaluation of Cherry Tomatos sugar content

Brixtoner is a product which contains carbohydrates in the form of polysaccharides and organic matter. Polysaccharides can carry out two tasks in the interior of the plant: being an energy reserve product, or a structural component.

The fruit's flavor is generally related to the relative concentrations of sugars and acids in the fruit, particularly fructose and citric acid. The best combination -that is, the one with the best flavor- has high amounts of sugars and acids.

1. Product Composition and its mechanism of action

Brixtoner is a product which allows sugars to be transferred, through the photosynthesis process, from the production centers (leaves) to the fruits that are in the developing and ripening phases of growth. Its potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium and boron contents improve the fruit's ripening process and the leaves' photosynthesis process. Polysaccharides and organic matter influence the soluble solids contents in the fruits.

Composition

Organic Matter                            23%
Polysaccharides                          15%
Potassium                                     8%
Calcium                                         2%
Magnesium                                    2%
Boron                                         0.10%
Zinc                                            0.10%

2. Objective

To demonstrate BRIXTONER’s efficiency in a Cherry Tomato crop in a greenhouse, regarding the increase of the amount of soluble solids or sugars contents.

3. Materials and Methodologies

3.1 Plant Material

The plant material that was used for the test was Solanum Lycopersicum, code 65 of the Gautier house. This variety is well known for its fruit quality and flavor. The fruits from this variety are of the cherry type, to be picked from the branch. The plant is vigorous and can be easily handled. The crop is very uniform, with 10 to 12 really rounded fruits of a bright red color. The fruits are of great consistency and long conservation. They have a width of around 30 mm, with an average weight of 20 to 22 grams.

The transplant was carried out on August the 1st, 2016, with a plantation framework of 2.5 plants/m2.

3.2 Experimental Design

During the wintry phase, several applications of Brixtoner were systematically carried out, comprising the following experimental treatments.

T0: Witness.

T1: Brixtoner treatment of 2.5 L·ha-1 and 5 L·ha-1.

Two applications of every treatment were carried out, for a total of 4 virtual experimental units (VEU). Every VEU consisted of 1 lateral pipe coming from both sides of the main walkway. The virtual experimental units were identified with signs (T0: Witness, T1: Brixtoner 2.5 L·ha-1). That way, we had 8 real experimental units. Figure #1 shows the design in the greenhouse.

The greenhouse is divided into 2 sectors, which allowed us to divide it into 2 zones: a witness zone, where plants were irrigated with water alone; and a second zone, where Brixtoner was used. Brixtoner was applied to the plants' roots, uniformly distributing the mixture through the irrigation system in sector #2.

Figure #1: Experimental design in Cherry Tomato greenhouse

Treatments were randomly assigned to each experimental unit. Their application began during the wintry phase, corresponding to the 3rd cut and, afterwards, they were carried out at intervals of 7 to 10 weekly days, until the 6th application, taking place in the season with the highest solar incidence and temperature increase.

Treatments were randomly assigned to each experimental unit. Their application began during the wintry phase, corresponding to the 3rd cut and, afterwards, they were carried out at intervals of 7 to 10 weekly days, until the 6th application, taking place in the season with the highest solar incidence and temperature increase.

Table #1: Brixtoner applications, doses and application dates.

3.3 Time of Evaluation or Sampling

Several samplings were made of the crop at different times of the test, as to determine the influence of Brixtoner on the organoleptic quality of the Cherry Tomato crop.

Table #2: Sampling date and days after the last treatment's application

 (*DAT stands for "Days after the last treatment").

3.4 Methodology

The determination of the organoleptic quality of the Cherry Tomato was carried out by using the contents in ⁰Brix as the determining parameter, with the help of a manual refractometer, in 10 randomly-picked Cherry Tomatoes in different ripening states or indexes. The ripening states or indexes that were established during the Cherry Tomato growth are presented in the figure_- The ripening states that have been evaluated during our samplings have been: 1, 3, 4 and 5.

Figure #2: Different ripening states of the tomato during the plant's fruit growth.

Figure #3: Manual refractometer used for OBrix measurement.

Ten plants were randomly selected in every experimental unit for the evaluation of their ripening state, measured in OBrix.

4. Results and Discussion

The achieved results demonstrate the improvements caused by the application of Brixtoner on tomato plants under controlled greenhouse conditions, regarding the sugars contents, compared to the tomatoes on the witness plants. The different figures at different ripening indexes show that the application of Brixtoner increases the contents of sugars in all the studied ripening states, compared to those of the witnesses. This way, we can affirm that the systematic application of Brixtoner helps the plant to synthesize a larger amount of sugars without affecting the plant's state, particularly during the wintry phase.

Figure #4: Evolution of the contents in oBrix in Cherry Tomatoes in ripening index 5 in plants that are treated with Brixtoner and witness plants in the different samplings that were made.

Figure #5: Evolution of the contents in oBrix in Cherry Tomatoes in ripening index 4 in plants that are treated with Brixtoner and witness plants in the different samplings that were made.

Figure #6: Evolution of the contents in oBrix in Cherry Tomatoes in ripening index 3 in plants that are treated with Brixtoner and witness plants in the different samplings that were made.

Figure #7: Evolution of the contents in oBrix in Cherry Tomatoes in ripening index 3 in plants that are treated with Brixtoner and witness plants in the different samplings that were made.

Table #3: Average contents in oBrix in Cherry Tomatoes in different ripening states in plants with Brixtoner and witness plants.

In addition, the plants that were treated with Brixtoner showed more uniformly ripened tomato bunches, as can be observed in the table in which the photographs of the plants that were taken during the samplings are shown (Table #4).

Table #4: Images of the tomato bunches that grew from witness plants and from plants that were treated with Brixtoner.

5. Conclusions

  • The systematic application of Brixtoner increases the fruit's soluble solids contents from the beginning of the fruit growth.
  • The application of Brixtoner increases the sugars contents from the physiological ripening (green fruit) until the final ripening (red fruit).
  • The application of Brixtoner improves the organoleptic and internal quality of the fruits.
  • The application of Brixtoner does not alter the plant's physiology.
  • The application of Brixtoner boosts a uniform ripening of the developed fruit bunches.

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