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Early, intermediate and late peach varieties for fresh-cut industry

Italian scientists at University of Foggia (Apulia Region) have evaluated the suitability of 26 peach varieties for the fresh-cut industry. The tested varieties, which included peaches, nectarines and clingstones peaches (Table 1), were grouped into early (A), middle (B) and late (C) varieties according to the harvesting period. The aim of the study was evaluating the physical, chemical and sensorial properties of each variety to select the most suitable variety for fresh-cut industry according to the harvesting period.

Tab 1. Peach varieties grouped in Peach, Nectarine and Clingstone.

Sensorial evaluations were performed on the peach purée kept at 5°C within 3 hours after processing. The sensorial test was conducted by using a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 was severe browning and 5 was not browned, for pulp colour; 1 was less intense and 5 was very intense for aroma, freshness, sweetness and sourness; and 1 was really poor and 5 was excellent for overall quality.

From the multivariate Principal Component Analysis resulted that (Tables 2 and 3):
  1. Among early varieties, ‘Honey Kist’ showed the lowest acidity and an intermediate susceptibility to mechanical damage caused by minimally processing;
  2. Among intermediate varieties, ‘Stark Red Gold’, ‘Zee Glo’ and ‘Venus’ resulted significantly different for sensorial properties, while ‘Loadel’ and ‘Eolia’ resulted more susceptible to the pulp browning;
  3. Among the late varieties, ‘Tardi Belle’ and ‘Baby Gold7’ were significantly different from the others for the flavour, but they are more susceptible to the mechanical damage.

Tab 2. Chemical and physical parameters evaluated on peach, nectarine and clingstone peach varieties for Group A (early maturing), Group B (middle maturing) and Group C (late maturing).

Tab 3. Sensorial parameters evaluated on purées of peach, nectarine and clingstone peach varieties for Group A (early maturing), Group B (middle maturing) and Group C (late maturing). Click here to enlarge the table.

This study has highlighted the wide variability among varieties in terms of sensorial quality and browning susceptibility as consequence of minimal processing. The scientists conclude underling the importance of varietal screening work to select the most suitable varieties for fresh-cut industry and for responding to consumer acceptance.

Source: Colantuono F., Amodio M.L., Piazzolla F., Colelli G., "Influence of quality attributes of early, intermediate and late peach varieties on suitability as fresh-convenience products", Advances in Horticultural Science, 2012, Vol. 26(1), pagg. 32-38. Further info: http://www.fupress.net/index.php/ahs/article/view/12750

Publication date: 11/18/2013
Author: Emanuela Fontana
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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