The influence was evaluated of four rootstocks (Ishtara, Mr. S 2/5, GF 677 and Barrier 1) and of harvesting time (early, middle, late) on the quality characteristics and nutritional value (vitamin C, phenols, carotenoids, total antioxidant capacity) of 'Flavorcrest' peach. The better rootstocks were Mr. S 2/5 (low-vigour) and Barrier 1 (high-vigour). In particular, Flavorcrest fruit on Mr. S 2/5 and on Barrier 1 rootstocks had higher antioxidant capacities and also higher phytochemical content, although fruits on Mr. S 2/5 were less firm. Flesh firmness was best for fruits at mid-harvest (H2, 7 July 2006), whereas phytochemical contents were best at late harvest (H3, 13 July 2006), when, for all rootstocks, the best nutritional characteristics were also recorded. Total antioxidant capacity and phytochemical content were determined for the peel and flesh. The results show that removal of peel from peach results in a significant loss of total antioxidant capacity.
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