The choice of promising parents represents a crucial step in developing improved cultivars in breeding programs for mini-tomatoes, highly demanded miniature vegetables. The association of non-sensory and sensory features of fruit greatly enhances the generation of cultivars that meet the expectations of the productive and commercial chain of tomatoes, focusing on diverse market niches. Thus, in this study, five genotypes of mini-tomatoes were characterized based on physical, biochemical, and sensory attributes.

The genetic material encompasses four cultivars (BRS Iracema, BRS Zamir, Iraí, and Sweet Heaven) and one landrace (UEL 238). The fruit were characterized by their dimension, color, firmness, soluble solids content, acidity, vitamin C, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and antioxidant activity. In the sensorial test, 109 participants, including 27 chefs, evaluated the shape, size, color, aroma, flavor, texture, and overall liking of the fruit. The cultivar Sweet Heaven, with an oblong red fruit, brought together the main desirable physical traits, such as greater mass, pericarp thickness, firmness, and soluble solids content; while BRS Zamir presented superior values for biochemical characteristics, such as total phenolic compounds, total flavonoids, and antioxidant activity.

Despite the lesser appreciation of the landrace UEL 238, all genotypes were accepted by consumers, especially BRS Iracema (round red fruit), followed by Iraí (oblong yellow fruit). The characterized mini-tomatoes may be explored in breeding programs as promising parents to combine desirable sensory attributes with the highest nutraceutical quality, resulting in superior cultivars that have been increasingly demanded on the market.

Read the complete article at

Constantino, Leonel & Rossetto, Laís & Benassi, Marta & Oliveira, Claudia & Zeffa, Douglas & Koltun, Alessandra & Resende, Juliano & Gonçalves, Leandro. (2021). Physico-biochemical characterization of mini-tomatoes and internal preference mapping based on consumer acceptance. Scientia Horticulturae. 282. 110034. 10.1016/j.scienta.2021.110034.