This study was carried out with one of the most important cultivar grown in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has gained the preference of consumers, due to its sweet taste, intense skin color and large size; however, these fruits are susceptible to chilling injury when cold stored for long periods. The use of controlled atmosphere (CA) with elevated CO2 and reduced O2 concentrations prevent the onset of the chilling symptom. Thus, the effect of three different conditions of controlled atmosphere (CA1, CA2, CA3 and Control) was evaluated in order to extend the storage life of 'Douradão' peaches. After 14, 21 and 28 days, samples were withdrawn from CA and kept in fresh air at 25 ± 1 °C and 90 ± 5% RH to complete ripening. On the day of removal and after 4 days, were the peaches quality characteristics were evaluated. The results showed that the use of CA during cold storage reduced weight loss and prevented postharvest decay. CA2 and CA3 treatments were effective in keeping good quality of 'Douradão' peaches during 28 days of cold storage, the ripe fruits showed reduced incidence of woolliness, adequate juiciness and flesh firmness. CA1 and Control treatments did not present marketable conditions after 14 days of cold storage.
Prunus persica; chilling; woolliness; storage life; pectolytic enzymes