Peaches and nectarines: Properties, deficit irrigation strategies and postharvest management

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Apricots and Peaches: Nutritional Properties, Post-Harvest Management and Potential Health Benefits
  • Fecha: 01 enero 2016
  • Páginas: 25-72
  • ISBN: 9781634846851
  • Tipo de fuente: Libro
  • Tipo de documento: Capítulo
  • Editorial: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
© 2016 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Nowadays, Spain is the fourth largest producer of nectarine and peach with an average annual volume of 1,219,780.50 tonnes. This quantity has increased in recent years due to the new varieties obtained which are adapted to each geographical area and specific soil conditions. Also, it is due to advances in irrigation and fertilization strategies, as well as improvements in postharvest techniques and traceability that promote export opportunities. Stone fruit crops require an average of 5,000 to 7,000 m3 of irrigation water per hectare and year. In Mediterranean areas or the southern of the United States, great nectarine and peach producers, agriculture is limited by scarce water supplies and their poor quality. Therefore, the application of irrigation strategies to optimize water use, but maintain yield and quality is essential. These techniques are generally known as regulated deficit irrigation (RDI). Their use assumes knowledge of each crop phenological stage in order to avoid possible adverse effects on both plant growth and fruit. In recent years, consumers have increasingly requested products with high sensory, microbiological and nutritional quality. Consumers are also interested in purchasing products grown under sustainable techniques. Currently, there is also an increasing interest in the consumption of fruits and vegetables with high antioxidant potential. That is to say, commodities that contain health-promoting compounds, such as vitamin C and certain individual polyphenols. Previous studies have observed an increase in these biocompounds when the product has been subjected to RDI. This is caused by the activation of specific metabolic pathways that lead to the synthesis of these biocompounds as a response to water stress. In this chapter, the production and characteristics of peaches and nectarines are contextualized. Here, the main effects of deficit irrigation on fruit quality and bioactive compounds during peach and nectarine growth and postharvest period have been taken into account. Postharvest management of these commodities either as whole product or minimally processed is explained, listing the main recommendations.

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