The influence of storage time on different quality parameters and in vitro antioxidant activity of peaches cv. Elegant Lady harvested at two ripening stages (immature and commercial mature) and stored under cold and marketing conditions were assessed. Destructive (physical-chemical properties, antioxidant activity, and firmness) and non-destructive parameters (colour and index of absorbance difference, IAD) were assessed.
Storage and ripening stage influenced firmness, colour, and antioxidant activity. Firmness decreased significantly during cold and marketing storage, and skin colour parameters, a* and b*, underwent a deepening of the red hue, while IAD values fully justified differences in colour over storage time and ripening stage. The antioxidant activity increased during storage, although polyphenols and ascorbic acid contents remained constant, and was higher in commercial mature fruit than immature peaches, that revealed a ratio of total sugars/total acids more equilibrated.