Investigating the effect of postharvest parameters on 'Redhaven' peaches
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect that postharvest parameters, including, harvest maturity and pre-cooling treatments, have on the sensory and physicochemical profiles of ‘Redhaven’ peaches (Prunus persica cv. Redhaven). Peaches stored under refrigeration are susceptible to developing mealy texture as a result of chilling injury. Currently, sensory evaluation is the best means of measuring mealiness, however, it is costly and inaccessible to growers, thus alternative methods are needed. Visual assessment, compression analysis and predictive modeling, combining variables measured through compression, were compared to sensory evaluation. The study found that peaches of commercial maturity, treated with control delayed cooling were juicier, possessed greater peach flavour, and developed less perceivable mealy texture, compared to forced-air and passive cooling treatments. Neither visual evaluation nor compression testing were strongly associated with the perception of mealy texture. Furthermore, the predictive model was not strong enough in its prediction of mealy texture.