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Controlled atmosphere storage of peaches cv. Dourado-2


The storage in low temperatures (0 - 1°C), immediately after harvesting, is the most used technique to improve the conservation of peaches. However, there are some limitations because it can cause a series of modifications in the normal metabolism of the fruits, harming its quality. The main symptom is the woolliness, that is characterized by dry and mealy pulp, loss of flavor and firmness, and low juice content and it begin from the second week of storage. The identification of this damage is quite difficult because it does not have apparent evidences between healthy fruits and woolly fruits. This situation generates some reticence from the consumers to the offered product, putting in risk an ample sector of peaches production. The undesirable changes of texture have been associated with the lesser solubilization of pectin substances or the accumulation of insoluble pectin substances of high molecular weight into the cells and intercellular spaces. Cold storage in controlled or modified atmosphere is cited as the system most efficient to reduce the woolliness, mainly, when there is a long period of storage. Treatments that can induct the activity of the enzyme poligalacturonase and the inhibition of the activity of the enzyme pectinametilesterase can reduce the woolliness occurrence. This project has the objective to evaluate the effect of the controlled and modified atmosphere storage on the quality and on the occurrence of the symptoms of chilling injuries in peaches cv. Dourado-2. Thus, it is expected to extend the shelf-life of these fruits, through the development of suitable techniques for the procedures of storage, commercialization and election of packing, guiding producing and intermediate in the elaboration of a more efficient strategy in the postharvest. (AU)

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