University of Maryland Extension

What is Chilling Injury in Peaches, What Causes it, and How Can You Manage it?

Peaches have a short shelf life capacity, thus are susceptible to high spoilage. Therefore, peaches destined for the wholesale market need to be harvested mature but not fully ripe, and submitted to cold storage to delay the ripening process. Chilling injury (CI) is a physiological disorder triggered by exposure to cold storage temperatures for a certain period of time, especially when kept in the “killing” temperature range of 36-46°F (2-8°C). CI will only be perceived when the fruit is re-exposed to room temperature, thus when the fruit reaches consumers. As such, CI is an enormous challenge and leads to consumer disappointment through undesirable fruit internal quality. 

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