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Effects of stage II and postharvest deficit irrigation on peach quality during maturation and after cold storage

Gelly, M., Recasens, I., Girona, J., Mata, M., Arbones, A., Rufat, J., Marsal, J.
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2004 v.84 no.6 pp. 561-568
Prunus persica, peaches, fruit crops, deficit irrigation, irrigation scheduling, harvesting, ripening, fruit quality, storage quality, postharvest physiology, ethylene production, cell respiration, titratable acidity, soluble solids
Effects of regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) on the quality of a mid-late maturing peach (Prunus persica L Batsch cv Andross) were determined at commercial harvest as well as 1 week before (early pick-up) and after 1 week of cold storage. Respiration and ethylene evolution were measured during 96 h on fruits sampled at early pick-up and at harvest. Fruits from a well-watered irrigation treatment (Control) were compared with a treatment of RDI during stage II of fruit growth (RDI-SII) and with RDI applied postharvest (RDI-PH). A fourth treatment received a combination of deficit irrigation applied during stage II and postharvest (RDI-SII-PH). Higher soluble solids content (SSC) amd SSC/titratable acidity (TA) ratio for RDI-SII were already noted at early pick-up and these differences were enhanced after cold storage (RDI fruits having higher SSC, lower TA and higher SSC/TA ratio than Control fruits). This improvement in quality (high SSC/TA ratio) was also correlated with a more reddish colouration in the fruit skin. Moreover, ethylene production indicated different behaviour of the physiological evolution for fruits from the different treatments.