"Brazil's table tomato is no longer "the king of pesticides"

While their table tomato might still be known as "the king of pesticides", the Brazilian tomato industry is doing its utmost best to change this reputation. This was underlined by the outcome of the 6th National Table Tomato Seminar; several growers received awards after their tomatoes were evaluated on physical and chemical characteristics during the first Table Tomato Contest.

The 1st Tomato Award contest was organized on 15 and 16 September, parallel with the 6th National Table Tomato Seminar in Piracicaba, 150 kilometers north of Sao Paulo. The objective of the contest was to introduce and open the discussion about quality and flavour aspects, and to highlight the importance of this and food safety among the Brazilian tomato industry.

A total of 20 tomato growers from 4 Brazilian states (Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Paraná) with different production setups (open field, greenhouses, soil, hydroponics) competed together in 3 different categories: grape, Italian and round tomatoes.

A group formed by eleven students, professors and professionals, together with the Food Technological Institute from Campinas, SP was responsible for all physical, chemical and sensorial analysis. The tomato samples were evaluated for physical and chemical characteristics (brix, acid, pH), and also according to sensorial parameters such as color, appearance, firmness, texture, flavor, acidity, sweetness, succulence.

Grower Stefan Coppelmans (right) won in the grape and round tomato category

Grower Stefan Coppelmans, a native Dutchman, from the city of Andradas, Minas Gerais was the overall winner in the grape and round tomato category. Winner of the Italian category was grower Geraldo Vieira da Silva from the city ofIndaiatuba. Both awarded growers have greenhouses and hydroponics production.

Geraldo Vieira da Silva won in the Italian category.

Mrs. Simone Mello Ph.D. from ESALQ was named independent auditor of the Tomato Awards. She gave an inspiring declaration for producers and people from the sector:
“It was a unique experience to work as Independent Auditor during this first Tomato Award that used a scientific methodology for quality evaluation. Congratulations to all collaborators and growers that accepted to participate in this project. Quality improvement is a challenge that requests continuous advanced production of technological systems, which need to be able to guarantee a competitive market in response to consumer demands. Brazil's sector will be moving forward with these kinds of initiatives and innovations."

The Tomato Award was organized by ABCSEM and WIN EVENTOS. The Brazilian Greenhouse Consulting Company EACEA was responsible for managing the contest and technical responsibilities. The Food Technological Institute from Campinas, SP was responsible for all physical, chemical and sensorial analysis.

More information about this contest and Tomato Award results can be found here: www.tomatedemesa.com.br

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