Peaches/nectarines [German version]

Table of contents

General:
Product information
Packaging
Transport
  Container transport
  Cargo securing


Risk factors and loss prevention:
Temperature Odor
Humidity/Moisture Contamination
Ventilation Mechanical influences
Biotic activity Toxicity / Hazards to health
Gases Shrinkage/Shortage
Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion Insect infestation / Diseases




Product information

Product name

German Pfirsiche, Nektarinen
English Peaches, nectarines
French Pêches, nectarines
Spanish Melocotónes, nectarinas
Scientific Prunus persica var. laevis
CN/HS number * 0809 30 ff.


(* EU Combined Nomenclature/Harmonized System)



Product description

Peaches (Prunus persica) belong to the Pruonoideae subfamily of the rose family (Rosaceae). Originally from China, they reached Europe via Japan and Persia.

Peaches, like cherries, plums, apricots, mangoes and avocados, are stone fruit. Stone fruit are indehiscent fruit which have fleshy pulp containing a hard stone in the middle which encloses the seed.

Depending upon the type of skin and the ease with which the stone may be removed from the pulp, four groups are distinguished:

1. Skin: velvety (peach) smooth, hard (nectarines)
2. Removability of stone easy

(freestone)

difficult

(clingstone)

easy

(freestone)

difficult

(clingstone)




Quality / Duration of storage

Completely ripe fruit with a fully developed aroma and color are virtually untransportable.

If the skin is dry, the fruit are brushed, washed and air dried. If the fruit are placed in the cold store without being cleaned, they cannot subsequently be brushed as the moist skin would otherwise be damaged.

Peaches with damaged skin or mold growth must not be loaded as the resultant rot would also reduce the quality of sound fruit. The peaches should also have no foreign odors and flavors.

Maximum duration of storage is as follows:

Temperature Rel. humidity Max. duration of storage Source
0 - 1°C 95% 14 - 28 days [1]
0 - 3°C 90% 10 - 40 days [2]
-1 - 0°C 90% 14 - 28 days [3]
-1 - 0°C 90% 14 days (early ripening varieties) [5]
-1 - 0°C 90% 48 days (late ripening varieties) [5]
0°C 90 - 95% 3 - 4 weeks [39]


Where controlled atmosphere transport is used, transport and storage duration may be extended. The following parameters apply in such a case [16]:

Temperature Rel. humidity O2 CO2 Suitability for controlled atmosphere
0.6 - 1.7°C 90 - 95% 2% 5% good



Intended use

Peaches are principally intended to be eaten fresh. They are also processed for the production of juices, preserves, jams, ice-cream, canned fruit etc.


Figures

(Click on the individual Figures to enlarge them.)

Photo, peaches

Figure 1
Photo, nectarines

Figure 2



Countries of origin

This Table shows only a selection of the most important countries of origin and should not be thought of as exhaustive.

Europe Italy, Greece, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain
Africa South Africa
Asia  
America Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, USA
Australia Australia, New Zealand


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Packaging

Peaches are packaged in quantities of 7 - 10 kg in flat, single-layer wooden fruit crates with specially shaped plastic or paper inserts.

Photo, peaches

Figure 3



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Transport

Symbols

Symbol, general cargo

General cargo


Temperature-controlled



Means of transport

Ship, aircraft, truck, railroad


Container transport

Refrigerated container with fresh air supply or controlled atmosphere.


Cargo handling

Because of its impact- and pressure-sensitivity, the fruit has to be handled with appropriate care.

The required refrigeration temperature must always be maintained, even during cargo handling.

In damp weather (rain, snow), the cargo must be protected from moisture, as there is otherwise a risk of premature spoilage.


Stowage factor

3.20 m3/t (fruit crates) [1]
2.55 - 3.54 m3/t (fruit crates and baskets) [14]
4.00 m3/t (palletized cartons) [39]



Stowage space requirements

Cool, dry, good ventilation


Segregation

Fiber rope, thin fiber nets, wooden dunnage


Cargo securing

Because of its considerable impact- and pressure-sensitivity, packages of this cargo must be secured in such a way that they are prevented from damaging each other. Spaces between packages or pallets must be filled, to prevent slippage or tipping. By selecting the correct packaging size or cargo unit (area module or area module multiple), holds can be tightly loaded (without spaces).


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Risk factors and loss prevention

RF Temperature

Peaches require particular temperature, humidity/moisture and ventilation conditions (SC VII) (storage climate conditions).

A written cooling order must be obtained from the consignor before loading is begun. This order must always be complied with during the entire transport chain.

The following Tables merely constitute an estimate of appropriate temperature ranges. Temperatures may deviate from these values, depending on the particular transport conditions.

Designation Temperature range Source
Travel temperature 0 - 1°C [1]
0 - 3°C [2]
-1 - 0°C [3]
-1 - 0°C [5]
-0.5 - 0.5°C [14]
-0.5 - 0.5°C [39]


Peaches should be precooled as soon as possible after harvest in order to prevent or delay any degradation of quality. Holds/containers should also be precooled prior to loading.

Inadequate cooling or excessively long storage may result in spoilage, loss of aroma, mealy-dry consistency and insipid flavor. If storage is excessively long, the fruit turns brown from the stone outwards, which is not evident from the outside.

At 2 - 8°C, peaches suffer "wooliness", a physiological disorder. The fruit becomes dry and mealy. Riper fruit have a lesser tendency to wooliness than do unripe fruit.

Chilling damage may occur at temperatures of < 0°C, such damage primarily being manifested as:

"Breakdown": the fruits lose their natural clear color, become dry and mealy and brown spots appear on the surface of the skin. In severe cases, the pulp around the stone becomes watery and may ultimately break down completely.
"Softness": on arrival at their destination, the peaches have an abnormally high moisture content, while the pulp around the stone is unripe.
"Unripeness": if the temperatures during transport were too low or the fruit were picked too early, they no longer ripen properly at their destination.


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RF Humidity/Moisture

Peaches require particular temperature, humidity/moisture and ventilation conditions (SC VII) (storage climate conditions).

Designation Humidity/water content Source
Relative humidity 95% [1]
90% [2]
approx. 90% [3]
90% [5]
85 - 90% [14]
90 - 95% [39]
Water content approx. 85 - 88% [1]
Maximum equilibrium moisture content 90% [1]


Since peaches have a tendency to dry out, care should be taken to comply exactly with the recommended humidity.


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RF Ventilation

Peaches require particular temperature, humidity/moisture and ventilation conditions (SC VII) (storage climate conditions).

Recommended ventilation conditions:

According to [1]: circulating air, 60 - 80 circulations/hour with continuous supply of fresh air

According to [14]: circulating air, 40 - 60 circulations/hour with continuous supply of fresh air

The supply of fresh air is determined in accordance with the CO2 content of the hold air and should be adjusted such that the permissible CO2 content of 0.5 vol.% is not exceeded.


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RF Biotic activity

Peaches display 2nd order biotic activity.

They are living organs in which respiration processes predominate, because their supply of new nutrients has been cut off by separation from the parent plant.

Care of the cargo during the voyage must be aimed at controlling respiration processes (release of CO2, water vapor, ethylene and heat) in such a way that the cargo is at the desired stage of ripeness on reaching its destination. Inadequate ventilation may result in fermentation and rotting of the cargo as a result of increased CO2 levels and inadequate supply of atmospheric oxygen (see Ventilation).


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RF Gases

CO2 evolution at 0°C: 4.8 mg/kg*h [1]
Upper limit of permissible CO2 content 0.5 vol.% [1]
Ethylene evolution  
Active behavior Peaches at the climacteric produce large quantities of ethylene, the ethylene production rate being 10 - 100 µl/kg*h [16].
Passive behavior The sensitivity of peaches to ethylene may be classified as high [16]. They must not therefore be stored together with ethylene-producing goods (allelopathy).


In fresh fruit, metabolic processes continue even after harvesting. The fruit absorbs oxygen (O2) and excretes varying amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethylene (C2H4) as well as aromatic compounds during the conversion of starch into sugar (ripening process).

If ventilation has been inadequate (frost) or has failed owing to a defect, life-threatening CO2 concentrations or O2 shortages may arise. Therefore, before anybody enters the hold, it must be ventilated and a gas measurement carried out. The TLV for CO2 concentration is 0.49 vol.%.


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RF Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion

No risk.


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RF Odor

Active behavior Peaches have a very slight, pleasant odor.
Passive behavior Peaches are highly odor-sensitive.



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RF Contamination

Active behavior Peaches do not cause contamination
Passive behavior Peaches are sensitive to dust, dirt, fats and oils. The holds or containers must accordingly be clean and in a thoroughly hygienic condition before loading.



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RF Mechanical influences

When completely ripe with a fully developed flavor and color, peaches are very sensitive to mechanical influences. Only a few varieties are sufficiently robust to be able to withstand even relatively long periods of transport.

Due to the fruit's sensitivity to pressure and impact, picking is entirely manual. Peaches are packaged in only one layer in specially shaped paper inserts in trays in order to protect them from damage and consequent premature spoilage during transport.


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RF Toxicity / Hazards to health

If ventilation has been inadequate (frost) or has failed owing to a defect, life-threatening CO2 concentrations or O2 shortages may arise. Therefore, before anybody enters the hold, it must be ventilated and a gas measurement carried out. The TLV for CO2 concentration is 0.49 vol.%.


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RF Shrinkage/Shortage

The normal weight loss due to a reduction in the moisture content of the product is < 1% [1].

Losses of volume caused by breakage are less when the cargo is packaged in cartons than when it is packaged in boxes.


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RF Insect infestation / Diseases

Peach stones have a tendency to crack: the fruit is then driven apart by the cracked stone, grows greatly in width and takes on a pronounced bilobate appearance ("carton disease").

Peaches are sometimes attacked by blue mold rot and gray mold rot. However, the risk is not as high as with cherries or plums. Blue mold rot may be recognized by the formation of a small, circular, slightly indented spot of rot on the fruit. Beneath this spot, the pulp is very moist and light brown. Small creases very quickly form, in which a white, subsequently blue-green, covering of very dusty mold is formed. Finally, the fruit decays. Gray mold rot is caused by the mold Botrytis cinerea and is thus also known as Botrytis rot. The mold also attacks completely healthy fruit. The mold grows best at 24°C, but is still capable of growing and causing rot even at a temperature of 0°C.

Photo, gray mold

Figure 4
Drawing, gray mold

Figure 5


The molds Monilia and Rhizopus, which are typical of stone fruits, also occur.

Drawing, Rhizopus

Figure 6


Peaches are also attacked by the San José scale. Since this is a quarantine pest, such fruit cannot be exported.

The quarantine regulations of the country of destination must be complied with and a phytosanitary certificate may have to be enclosed with the shipping documents. Information may be obtained from the phytosanitary authorities of the countries concerned.

Chilling damage may occur at temperatures of < 0°C, such damage primarily being manifested as:

"Breakdown": the fruits lose their natural clear color, become dry and mealy and brown spots appear on the surface of the skin. In severe cases, the pulp around the stone becomes watery and may ultimately break down completely.
"Softness": on arrival at their destination, the peaches have an abnormally high moisture content, while the pulp around the stone is unripe.
"Unripeness": if the temperatures during transport were too low or the fruit were picked too early, they no longer ripen properly at their destination.


At 2 - 8°C, peaches suffer "wooliness", a physiological disorder. The fruit becomes dry and mealy. Riper fruit have a lesser tendency to wooliness than do unripe fruit.


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