The Late Peach of Leonforte [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] grown in Southern Italy matures in September and October and as late as November. Fruits are wrapped in paper bags to protect them from parasites and are harvested only when fully ripe. Protected inside the bags, they ripen late and take on a bright yellow colour with red streaks. Highly aromatic, the peach has yellow, firm flesh that is high in soluble solids and has a distinctive, slightly caramelized flavour. The aim of this work was to determine the best method of drying peach as a means of conserving the fruit after harvest due to its very limited shelf-life. Drying processes were carried out in a pilot plant utilising different combinations of drying temperature and duration. Fruit texture analysis, colour and chemical parameters such as the carotenoids content, were evaluated to find the best process condition. Peaches subjected to different treatments were dried to the same final water content. The best colour and texture characteristics were found in peach samples dried for 9 hours at 60°C. Loss of carotenoids in dried products was comparable to losses in fresh peach samples.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
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