A Systematic Approach to the Determination of Maturity Indices for Melting-flesh and Nonmelting-flesh Peach Cultivars for Fresh Market

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  • 1 1Horticultural Sciences Dept., IFAS, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
  • | 2 2Dept. of Statistics, IFAS, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Potential maturity indices were determined for two melting-flesh (FL 90-20 and Tropic Beauty) and two nonmelting-flesh (Oro A and Fl 86-28 C) peach cultivars. A range of developmental stages was obtained by conducting two harvests and separating fruit based on their diameter. Fruit in each category were divided into two groups. One group was used for determining potential maturity indices: soluble solids, titratable acidity, soluble solids: titratable acidity, peel and flesh color on the cheeks (CH) and blossom end (BE), CH and BE texture, ethylene production, and respiration rate. The other group was stored at 0°C for 1 week and ripened at 20°C for 2 days to simulate actual handling conditions, and were presented to a trained sensory panel, which rated the fruit for three textural (hardness, rubberiness, and juiciness) and three flavor aspects (sweetness; sourness; bitterness; and green, peachy, and overripe character). Principal component (PC) analysis was used to consolidate the results of the descriptive sensory evaluation into a single variable that could be correlated with the objective measurements at harvest. The first overall PC explained 40% of the total variation. Following are the attributes that best correlated with PC 1 and, thus, are promising maturity indices: for FL 90-20, peel hue, peel L, and CH texture; for Tropic Beauty, peel L, CH texture, and BE texture; for Oro A, CH texture, BE texture, and CH chroma; for 86-28C, BE texture, CH hue, and CH texture.

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