Combined effects of deficit irrigation and fresh-cut processing on quality and bioactive compounds of nectarines

https://doi.org/10.17221/1/2015-HORTSCICitation:Falagán N., Artés F., Gómez P.A., Artés-Hernández F., Pérez-Pastor A., de la Rosa J.M., Aguayo E. (2015): Combined effects of deficit irrigation and fresh-cut processing on quality and bioactive compounds of nectarines. Hort. Sci. (Prague), 42: 125-131.
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Water scarcity makes necessary the use of tools for increasing water productivity such as regulated deficit irrigation strategies (RDI). The effect of RDI on fresh-cut white flesh extra-early nectarine was studied. Initially, the soluble solids content of nectarines from RDI was higher than in control and over-irrigated fruits (9.72 ± 0.20 vs. 8.57 ± 0.05°Brix, respectively) but after shelf-life storage no differences were found. During storage, RDI fruits had a more stable antioxidant capacity and soluble phenolic content. This treatment showed 10% more vitamin C than the other irrigation treatments, due to an increase in dehydroascorbic acid content. No pathogenic bacteria growth was found and all microbial counts were below the European legal limits. For all the irrigation treatments, the final sensorial scores were above the limit of marketability. Overall, RDI enabled savings of about 1,260 m3 of water/ha and year, without negatively affecting the quality of the fruit, allowing for their use as a fresh-cut product with a shelf-life of 8 days at 5°C.
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