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Production, pomological and nutraceutical properties of apricot

Moustafa, Khaled, Cross, Joanna
Journal of food science and technology 2019 v.56 no.1 pp. 12-23
Prunus, apricots, buds, crop production, developmental stages, frost injury, fruit quality, fruits, functional foods, genetic variation, genomics, germplasm, nutritive value, technology, Central Asia, Europe, Mediterranean region
Apricot (Prunus sp.) is an important fruit crop worldwide. Despite recent advances in apricot research, much is still to be done to improve its productivity and environmental adaptability. The availability of wild apricot germplasms with economically interesting traits is a strong incentive to increase research panels toward improving its economic, environmental and nutritional characteristics. New technologies and genomic studies have generated a large amount of raw data that the mining and exploitation can help decrypt the biology of apricot and enhance its agronomic values. Here, we outline recent findings in relation to apricot production, pomological and nutraceutical properties. In particular, we retrace its origin from central Asia and the path it took to attain Europe and other production areas around the Mediterranean basin while locating it in the rosaceae family and referring to its genetic diversities and new attempts of classification. The production, nutritional, and nutraceutical importance of apricot are recapped in an easy readable and comparable way. We also highlight and discuss the effects of late frost damages on apricot production over different growth stages, from swollen buds to green fruits formation. Issues related to the length of production season and biotic and abiotic environmental challenges are also discussed with future perspective on how to lengthen the production season without compromising the fruit quality and productivity.