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  • Author or Editor: Eric Otieza x
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`Snow King' peaches (Prunus persica) harvested at commercial maturity were subjected to different carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) atmosphere combinations for a 2-week simulated transportation [0 °C (32 °F)] period after 1 week of cold storage in air (0 °C). In 1998, air or 5%, 10%, 15%, or 20% CO2 combined with 3% or 6% O2 were used during shipment. The trial was repeated in 1999, but for this year half of the fruit were treated with a 50 mg·L-1 (ppm) aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) postharvest dip before storage and simulated shipment. In addition, O2 levels during simulated shipment were reduced to 1.5% and 3%. At harvest and after the 2-week simulated shipment, fruit flesh firmness, soluble solids concentration (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), and chilling injury (CI) were evaluated. For both years, there were no significant differences in quality attributes among the different treatments after the simulated shipment period. SSC and TA did not change during 5 days postshipment ripening at 20 °C (68 °F). In 1998 all treatments softened rapidly during the postshipment ripening at 20 °C, and were ready to eat [13 N (1 N = 0.225 lb force)] after 3 days. In 1999, both the high CO2 atmospheres during shipment and the AVG postharvest dip slowed the rate of softening during subsequent ripening at 20 °C. With respect to fruit softening, there was significant interaction between storage atmosphere and AVG treatment. AVG-treated fruit shipped under a 20% CO2 + 3% O2 atmosphere did not soften to the transfer point (firmness = 27 N) within our 5-day ripening period, while fruit not treated with AVG and shipped under the same atmosphere softened to the transfer point in 3 days. Control fruit (no AVG + air shipment) softened to the transfer point in 2 days. Our previous work found that when white flesh peaches soften to less than 27 N firmness they become very susceptible to impact bruise injury during retail distribution. We call this critical level of fruit flesh firmness the transfer point. Symptoms of CI, low O2, or high CO2 injury were not observed in any treatment in either year.

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