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  • Author or Editor: Ernesto A. Brovelli x
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The notion that ethylene production levels in nonmelting-flesh (NMF) peach (Prunus persica L.) fruit are normally lower than those in melting-flesh (MF) fruit is refuted in our study. In fact, NMF fruit (`Oro A' and FL 86-28C) usually produced higher levels of ethylene than did MF fruit (FL 90-20 and `TropicBeauty'). In both MF and NMF peaches, the rate of ethylene production, rather than the respiration rate, provided a good indication of the developmental stage of the fruit at harvest. Ethylene content in fruit on the tree followed a climacteric pattern, with the level in `Oro A' (NMF) and FL 90-20 (MF) peaking at 50 and 12 μL·L–1, respectively. The respiratory climacteric was not apparent in either `Oro A' or FL 90-20, and levels of CO2 were similar in both genotypes.

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Potential maturity indices were determined for two melting-flesh (FL 90-20 and `TropicBeauty') and two nonmelting-flesh (`Oro A'and Fl 86-28C) peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] genotypes. A range of developmental stages was obtained by conducting two harvests and separating the fruit based on diameter. Fruit in each category were divided into two groups. One group was used to determine potential maturity indices: soluble solids, titratable acidity, soluble solids to titratable acidity ratio, peel and flesh color on the cheeks and blossom end, cheek and blossom-end firmness, 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 handling conditions and presented to a trained sensory panel, which rated the fruit for three textural aspects (hardness, rubberiness, and juiciness) and six 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 attributes that best correlated with the first sensory PC of each genotype, and thus are promising maturity indices, were as follows: for FL 90-20, peel hue, peel L, and cheek firmness; for `TropicBeauty', peel L, cheek firmness, and blossom-end firmness; for `Oro A', cheek firmness, blossom-end firmness, and cheek chroma; and for 86-28C, blossom-end firmness, cheek hue, and cheek firmness.

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A study to compare the response to postharvest chilling (4 °C) for up to 3 weeks of melting-flesh (MF)—FL 90-20, FL 90-21W, and FL 91-16—and nonmelting-flesh (NMF)—`Oro A', FL 90-35C, and FL 90-47C—peach (Prunus persica L.) genotypes revealed that MF fruit were notably more susceptible to the development of mealiness than NMF types. Cell separation in mealy fruit was demonstrated by the release of mesocarp cells to an aqueous medium, allowing determination of mealiness severity. At a histological level, chilling brought about an impressive expansion of the intercellular spaces in MF mesocarp tissue but did not affect NMF fruit. A decrease in flesh electrical resistance after 1 week of chilling was observed only in MF fruit. However, electrical resistance increased in MF and NMF fruit following 2 and 3 weeks at 4 °C. Electrical resistance also decreased with ripening of MF fruit but did not change when NMF fruit were ripened. Unlike NMF fruit, the MF genotypes FL 90-21W and FL 91-16 showed an increase in respiration rate due to chilling. The rate of ethylene production decreased after 1 week at 4 °C in MF and NMF genotypes. However, two MF and two NMF genotypes exhibited rising ethylene levels after the second week of storage at 4 °C, while ethylene production in one MF and one NMF genotype continued to decline.

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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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The objective of this study was to compare the quality of E. purpurea juice obtained using two types of press, a hydraulic bag press (BP) and a mechanical screw press (SP). Cichoric acid concentration was about twice as high in the SP juice compared to the BP juice. Qualitative and quantitative differences in the alkylamides were observed, in favor of the SP. BP juice had a significantly higher pH, density and viscosity. No differences were observed in levels of soluble or total solids. The results of this study suggest that SP is more suitable for Echinacea juice expression than BP. Engineering and juice quality considerations in the selection of expression technology for medicinal plants are discussed in the context of therapeutic value.

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