Deficit irrigation strategies combined with controlled atmosphere preserve quality in early peaches

  1. Falagán, Natalia
  2. Artés Calero, Francisco 1
  3. Gómez, Perla 1
  4. Artés Hernández, Francisco 1
  5. Conejero Puente, Wenceslao
  6. Aguayo Giménez, Encarnación 1
  1. 1 Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena

    Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena

    Cartagena, España


Food science and technology international = Ciencia y tecnología de alimentos internacional

ISSN: 1082-0132 1532-1738

Year of publication: 2015

Volume: 21

Issue: 7

Pages: 547-556

Type: Article

DOI: 10.1177/1082013215621816 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR

More publications in: Food science and technology international = Ciencia y tecnología de alimentos internacional


Due to the water scarcity in the Mediterranean countries, irrigation must be optimized while keeping fruit quality. The effect of deficit irrigation strategies on changes in quality parameters of the early “Flordastar” peaches was studied. The deficit irrigation was programmed according to signal intensity of the maximum daily trunk shrinkage; deficit irrigation plants were irrigated to maintain maximum daily trunk shrinkage signal intensity values close to 1.4 or 1.3 in the case of DI1 or DI2 plants, respectively. Results were compared to a control watered at 150% crop evapotranspiration. Fruits were stored up to 14 days at 0 ℃ and 95% Relative Humidity (RH) in air or in controlled atmosphere (controlled atmosphere; 3–4 kPa O2 and 12–14 kPa CO2), followed by a retail sale period of 4 days at 15 ℃ and 90–95% Relative Humidity in air. Weight losses were lower in controlled atmosphere stored peaches from deficit irrigation. Air-stored fruits developed a more intense red color due to a faster ripening, which was not affected by the type of watering. At harvest, deficit irrigation peaches showed higher soluble solids content, which provided a better sensory evaluation. The soluble phenolic content was initially higher (55.26 ± 0.18 mg gallic acid equivalents/100 g fresh weight) and more stable throughout postharvest life in DI1 fruits than in those from the other irrigation treatments. Concerning vitamin C, control fruits at harvest showed higher ascorbic acid than dehydroascorbic acid content (5.43 versus 2.43 mg/100 g fresh weight, respectively), while water stressed peaches showed the opposite results. The combination of DI2 and controlled atmosphere storage allowed saving a significant amount of water and provided peaches with good overall quality, maintaining the bioactive compounds analyzed.

Funding information

The authors are grateful to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness-FEDER for financial support (project AGL2010-19201-C04-02-AGR) and for the concession of a predoctoral grant to N. Falagán, and the Fundación Séneca (regional research center) also financed part of the preharvest study (project 11981/PI/09).