The objective of this study was to evaluate the colour of dried sweet tomatoes, to prepare jams. The assay was carried out during 2013 at the Fruits and Vegetables Drying Laboratory from the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) Rama Caída Agricultural Experimental Station, Argentina. Franco variety tomatoes were used; these were peeled and cut, then 8 groups of 0,5 kg each were formed in order to attain 4 treatments with two repetitions. The tomatoes were covered with sucrose (0,5 kg) mixed with four doses of sodium metabisulfite (A: 0%; B: 0,2%; C: 0,5%; D: 0,8%) and were left resting 24 hours. They were rinsed and dehydrated in an electric oven with forced ventilation at 55 °C until 0,47 ± 0,02 (humidity inferior to 20 %) of water activity was reached. Subsequently, the colour of the pulp of the dried tomatoes was measured every three months and the content of sulphur dioxide was determined after one year in storage. The four treatments evaluated presented stable colours in time; however, treatments C and D showed the highest values in colour space CIE L*, a*, b* (most intense and attractive red colours). Also, these treatments were the ones with the greatest residual amount of sulphur dioxide, however, they were below of the allowed limit established by the Argentine Food Code for the manufacturing of jams(C 160 ± 22,63; D 1.160 ± 214,96 ppm).

Keywords: Solanum lycopersicon Mill., osmotic-convective drying, tomato jam.