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Changes in ascorbic acid content in fresh cut Sicilian yellow-flesh peaches during post harvest and in fresh cuts.


The traditional yellow-flesh peach cultivars Settembrina and Ottobrina di Leonforte, ripen, the former, during the first 10 days of September and, the latter, during the first 10 days of November in Sicily (Italy). During the pit hardening stage, fruit are covered with a paper bag in order to protect them from the Mediterranean fruit fly. To understand their behaviour in term of postharvest manteinance and suitability to minimal processing, Settembrina and Ottobrina di Leonforte were processed (cleaned, washed, peeled, cut, dipped, packed) to obtain fresh-cut peaches. Fresh cut slices were also stored in perforated bi-oriented polystyrene bags, with 2% ascorbic acid and 1% calcium lactate and 1% ascorbic acid 0,5 citric acid and 1% calcium lactate. Physical, chemical and sensorial analyses were performed. Results showed the high variability among varieties in terms of sensorial quality, susceptibility to browning and to mechanical damage, and the importance of dipping solution to preserve vitamin C content. In particular treatment with ascorbic acid at 2% showed the best results in terms of ascorbic acid content after 12 days of refrigerated Storage in both varieties.