Storage Life of a Midseason Peach Held at 5 °C

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  • 1 1USDA—ARS, South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Lane, OK 74555
  • | 2 2Texas A&M Research and Extension Center, Stephenville, TX 76401

Growers in north and central Texas produce peaches of exceptional size and quality yet have no information on the best maturity stage/storage regime for maximum shelf life. `Majestic' peaches were harvested at five maturity stages, corresponding to hard green through full red, soft ripeness. Intermittent warming and/or delayed warming reduces chilling injury in peaches and these treatments were used on hard green through firm red stages. Fruit were held 4 weeks at 5 °C, 85% RH continuously (control); 1 day at 20 °C followed by 4 weeks at 5 °C (DS); 4 weeks at 5 °C with 1 day warming at 20 °C every 2 weeks (IW). Chilling injury symptoms (internal browning) were noted on control and IW peaches after 2 weeks storage. We concluded that hard green peaches are too immature and red peaches at velvet and full soft stages are too soft (<20N flesh resistance) to ship. Chilling injury appeared in peaches after 2 weeks storage at 5 °C but could be avoided by delaying storage for 24 hours after harvest.

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