Effect of Fruit Ripeness and Storage Temperature on the Deterioration Rate of Fresh-cut Peach and Nectarine Slices
The effects of fruit ripeness and postcutting storage temperature on the deterioration rates of fresh-cut Flavorcrest peaches and Zee Grand nectarines were investigated. Based on visual quality, peach and nectarine slices from mature-green fruits (>40-53 N flesh firmness) had the longest shelf-life (8 days at 0°C for peaches, and 8 days at 0, 5 or 10° for nectarines). However, slices from mature-green peaches and nectarines, and from partially ripe peaches (>27-40 N) failed to soften to acceptable eating quality when stored at 0 or 5°. Slices from overripe peach and nectarine fruits (0-13 N) were organoleptically acceptable at the time of cutting, but based on visual quality they had a shelf-life of ≤ 2 days (peach), or 3-6 days (nectarine), when stored at 0, 5 or 10°. The optimum ripeness for preparing fresh-cut peach slices was the ripe (>13-27 N) stage, and at 0° and 90-95% RH, these slices had a shelf-life of 6 days and retained good eating quality. The optimum ripeness stages for preparing fresh-cut nectarine slices were partially ripe (>27-49 N) or ripe (>13-27 N), and at 0° and 90-95% RH, these slices had a shelf-life of 8 days and retained good eating quality.