Foods | 2021
Are Peach Cultivars Used in Conventional Long Food Supply Chains Suitable for the High-Quality Short Markets?
Peaches are climacteric and highly perishable fruits, with a short shelf life, and are prone to rapid deterioration after harvest. In this study, the chemical proprieties, aroma profile and a sensory evaluation were conducted to: (1) characterize and compare fruits of 13 different peach and nectarine cultivars, harvested at physiological maturation; and (2) assess the suitability of these cultivars, that are successfully used in long food supply chains (LFSCs), for their use in short food supply chains (SFSCs). Through statistical analysis clear differences were found among the studied cultivars, and in particular between cultivars suited to SFSCs compared to those suited for LFSCs. Results indicate that, despite all cultivars being planted in the same orchards and with the same pre-harvest management and practices, their post-harvest performances were mainly influenced by the cultivar genetic makeup. Therefore, cultivars conventionally used in SFSCs, such as “Guglielmina” and “Regina di Londa”, had the best aroma, sweetness and juiciness compared to LSCPs ones. In contrast, the LSCPs varieties showed interesting values for firmness and crunchiness.