During the past two seasons, the relationship between fruit ripening “ON” or “OFF” the tree and internal breakdown incidence was studied with `Elegant Lady' and `O'Henry' peach cultivars. Internal breakdown (IB) visual symptom development was delayed in fruit harvested at different physiological maturities and exposed to different “OFF” the tree pre-ripening treatments. As a follow up, different pre-ripening treatments (controlled delayed cooling) were tested for several peach, nectarine, and plum cultivars susceptible to IB. This pre-ripening treatment delayed flesh browning, mealiness, and off-fl avor development after a simulated shipment and retailer handling period for `Flavorcrest', `Elegant Lady', `O'Henry', `Parade', `Fairtime', `Carnival', `Prima Gattie', `Last Chance', `Autumn Gem', `Autumn Lady', and `Autumn Rose' peaches; `Summer Grand' and `September Red' nectarines; and `Fortune' plum. However, decay development may be a problem. Delayed cooling at 20°C must be carried out with fruit protected with fungicide and wax for the shortest possible, but still effective, length of time to limit IB. The temperature and the length of this pre-ripening treatment, and the presence or absence of ethylene during the delayed cooling is cultivar dependent. Thus, specific pre-ripening conditions must be developed for each cultivar.
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