Peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) is among the most important stone fruits which is widely grown in temperate regions. Marketing of peach fruits like other fresh produce in Ethiopia is complicated by high postharvest losses. Although peach varieties have been introduced and studied for their productivity, their postharvest quality has not been evaluated at Holeta. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the influence of plastic packaging and storage conditions on postharvest quality and shelf life stability of peach genotypes. The experiment was carried out at Holeta agricultural research center from January to February, 2018. Peach genotypes â€˜Bonnigold, Early Grande, 90-19H and Topic Beautyâ€™ packed in perforated and non-perforated low density polyethylene (LDPE) film and stored under two different conditions i.e. ambient (6.4Â°C to 20.2 Â°C; 40% â€“71 % RH) and cold storage (-1Â°C to 1 Â°C; 85â€“99 % RH). Genotypes had different response to packaging materials and storage conditions. Perforated bag packaging with cold storage was found to be more effective compared to non-perforated and the control fruits in maintaining firmness. Non-perforated bag packagingâ€™s combined with cold storage extended shelf life of peach fruits 10 â€“ 20 days compared to other treatment combinations. The non-perforated plastic packaged fruits stored in the cold storage also maintained more TSS, AA, TA, TSS/TA, pH, marketability and specific gravity content and lowered weight loss and decay. Therefore, non-perforated plastic packaging with cold storage condition can be considered to maintain the quality as well as extending the shelf life of peaches mainly for commercial producers, traders as well as research stations.
Keywords: Packaging films, Peach, Quality, Storage conditions.