Fruit cuticle composition of a melting and a nonmelting peach cultivar
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Although postharvest quality of fruit is greatly affected by cuticle composition, structure, and properties, very few published studies have analyzed fruit cuticle composition from a postharvest perspective. In this work, the chemical composition of waxes and cutin, major cuticular components, was analyzed in fruit cuticle samples isolated from a melting ("October Sun") and a nonmelting ("Jesca") peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch.) cultivar at harvest and after a simulated shelf-life period of 5 days at 20 °C. Cutin composition was dominated by 18-hydroxyoleic acid, whereas the triterpenoid ursolic and oleanoic acids and the alkanes n-tricosane and n-pentacosane were quantitatively prominent among the wax compounds identified. Some quantitative differences were found between both cultivars for particular compound families and in their postharvest modifications. To the best of the authors" knowledge, this is the first study characterizing the composition of the cuticle of peach fruit and describing the changes therein after harvest.