Influence of Storage Conditions on Fruit Quality of ‘Royal Time’ and ‘Royal Summer’ Peach Cultivars
Peach is a very perishable climacteric fruit whose firmness may decay rapidly depending on the temperature. Refrigeration is usually used to delay ripening and maintain fruit quality. However, often temperature storage conditions are not optimized. This work aims to characterize the storage conditions (temperature and humidity) of three peach producers of Beira Interior region, Portugal. Additionally, correlate those conditions with peach quality
evolution comparing two peach cultivars – Royal Summer and Royal Time – with similar harvest dates but very different acidity content. The three refrigeration chambers monitored have very distinct conditions of average air temperature, namely 8.29±3.53 °C (local C), 5.50±0.88 °C (local G) and 0.80±0.83 °C (local L) but similar high humidity, in an average
range of 90%-98%. At harvest time, major differences were in fruit firmness and acidity. ‘Royal Summer’ firmness was 6.61 kgf and ‘Royal Time’ was 5.20 kgf. For all storage conditions, fruit firmness decrease faster for ‘Royal Time’ cultivar than for ‘Royal Summer’. The results suggest that in general farmers use inadequate range temperature for long storage
period. For short periods of 7 days, conditions like those of local G allow fruit quality maintenance like firmness and loss of weight without problems of chilling injury, and, simultaneously, save energy that is also not only a desirable international goal but also contributes to decrease of production costs.