Date of Award:

1964

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Food Science and Technology

Advisor/Chair:

D. K. Salunkhe

Abstract

Peaches and apricots are important fruit crops in Utah. They are shipped to distant markets in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and several other places. These fruits may stay in the market channels for 2 to 4 weeks before they reach the consumer, and sometimes are held at the retail center at temperatures as high as 70-90° F. Decay of these fruits has been a serious problem facing shipping agencies, grocery stores, and the roadstand industry (Salunkhe, 1960).

The quality of fresh as well as processed fruit is influenced by the stage of maturity at picking. Bedford and Robertson (1955), and Culpepper et al. (1955) pointed out that there has been a lack of agreement among several investigators as to the stage of maturity at which peaches can be harvested and successfully ripened for processing. The borderline between immature and mature fruit is of accentuated importance in regions where harvesting must occur at an early date to allow for the necessary transport and marketing period. Growers are, therefore, interested in the proper stage of maturity at which to harvest and shippers and retailers are interested in the effective storage to extend the life of the fruit and to promote consumer acceptance.

In the quest for indices to determine the stage of maturity of deciduous fruits many physical, chemical and physiological characteristics have been studied. Firm-ness, ground color, flesh color, acidity, and soluble solids were found to be in decreasing order of correlation with increasing maturity of peaches (Rood, 1957). Conversely it was attributed that flavor, palatability, and maturity of peaches were directly related to soluble solids (Claypool, 1961). Leonard et al. (1953) reported --that the degree of maturity and flavor preference were predictable by soluble solids/acidity especially at lower acidity levels. Similar studies of a limited nature on apricots have been reported by Allen (1932), Strachan et al. (1951), and Luh (1961).

Information is meager on post-harvest ripening of peaches and apricots for fresh-produce marketing. The investigations reported here were conducted to determine the relationship between firmness, acidity, soluble solids, and other biochemical constituents with maturity and storage of the fruits. The studies presented in this dissertation were carried out on peaches (variety Redhaven) and apricots (variety Large Early Montgamet), and include the results for the years 1962 and 1963.

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