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Effect of Delayed Storage on Chilling Injury Incidence and Postharvest Quality Attributes of Peaches and Nectarines

Pintado, C.J.M., Velardo, B., Lozano, M., Gonzalez-Gomez, D., Hernandez, T., Tabla, R.
Acta horticulturae 2010 no.877 pp. 513-521
ethylene, total soluble solids, nectarines, chilling injury, texture, postharvest losses, fruit quality, acid value, titratable acidity, postharvest injuries, cultivars, postharvest treatment, relative humidity, disease control, storage time, storage quality, firmness, peaches, cooling, ethylene production, color
This research was conducted to evaluate the effect of delayed storage on chilling injury incidence and postharvest quality attributes evolution of 'Plagol 25' and 'Diamond Princess' peaches and 'Lara Bigi' and 'Honey' nectarines. Fruit were stored at 0°C and 95% relative humidity (control) or held at 20°C for 2 days before cooling them for 1-5 weeks (delayed storage). Then, fruit were transferred to 20°C, 2 days for peaches and 1 day for nectarines, and chilling injury incidence, ethylene production, flesh firmness, flesh colour (a* value), soluble solids content and titratable acidity were assessed. Results showed that delayed storage reduced chilling injury incidence and gave, at least, an extra week of storage before this disorder appeared. 'Honey' nectarines and 'Plagol 25' peaches were less sensitive to chilling injury than 'Lara Bigi' nectarines and 'Diamond Princess' peaches. Regarding the more sensitive cultivars, after four weeks of storage, dry texture developed extensively in control, while flesh browning was the main internal disorder in delayed storage. Delayed storage enhanced the ability of the fruit to produce ethylene. Control fruit were significantly firmer than delay stored fruit throughout the 1-5 weeks storage period. Delay stored fruit showed slightly higher acidity values than control. On the other hand, soluble solids content and flesh colour (a*) were unaffected by the postharvest treatment. In conclusion, delayed storage reduced the incidence of chilling injury, but a high rate of fruit softening was obtained. Therefore, delayed conditions should be strictly controlled for reducing distribution losses and supplying high quality fruit to consumers.