Packaging to Preserve 'Aurora-1' Peaches from Two Maturity Stages
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The main objective of this research was to evaluate chemical and physical changes in 'Aurora-1' peach harvested at two maturity stages, packed in different types of packaging and kept under refrigeration. Fruit were harvested at the mature green and ripe stages, packed in four different types of packaging (control, PD-900 (TM), PVC and PET) and stored at 6 degrees C. The following variables were evaluated every eight days: coloration, accumulated fresh mass loss, firmness, appearance, acidity, total soluble solids contents, soluble sugars, and percentage of pectin solubilization. We observed that the postharvest life was influenced by packaging and the mature green fruits showed lower disease occurrence. Fresh mass loss was lower in packed fruits. The peel of mature green fruits developed a characteristic ripe peach color at the end of storage, but PD-900 (TM) provided a delay in color change. Packaging also influenced the firmness, allowing for more firmness retention than for the control fruits at both harvest stages. The organic acid content decreased in the packaged fruits and increased in the control fruits. In the packaged fruit, the amount of sugar increased until the eighth day and then decreased until the end of the storage period. The 'Aurora-1' peaches did not show compromised quality by packaging use and exhibited an increase in harvest life to 24 days (compared to 16 days for the control).