Optothermal transient emission radiometry for studying the changes in epidermal hydration induced during ripening of tomato fruit mutants
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Optothermal transient emission radiometry (OTTER) was used to determine the mean surface hydration and the hydration profile of three mutants (beefsteak, slicing and salad) of harvested tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) that were kept under ambient conditions for as long as 51 days. Maximal sensitivity of OTTER to water in the samples was achieved by using 2.94 μm and 13.1 μm as excitation and emission wavelengths, respectively. The surface hydration increases rapidly and reaches a constant level during the remaining period. The hydrolysis of pectic substances that occur in tomatoes while ripening might be a possible cause for the observed change in hydration.
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