High quality fruits are increasingly demanded along with the need to ensure this attribute to consumers. Thus, this study
was aimed at characterizing a melting ('Elegant Lady') and a non-melting flesh ('Carson') peach ( Prunus persica
Batsch) varieties by considering both their bioactive compound contribution and their sensory quality in ripe fruit at harvest
and after a prolonged period of cold storage. Cultivars were evaluated at harvest (F0) and after 30 d of cold storage (F30),
as well as after a maturation period at 20 °C for both F0 and F30 (R0 and R30, respectively). Fruit weight, flesh firmness,
soluble solid content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), and background color (Hue) were recorded at each stage. Furthermore,
total phenol content was measured and a phenolic characterization by HPLC (High-Performance Liquid Chromatography)
was performed for both varieties to detect the major low molecular weight phenolic compounds present in the fruit. Finally,
a trained panel assessed the main sensorial parameters at R0 and R30. Total phenol content did not change significantly
as a result of cold storage and differences were probably attributed only to genotype. Low molecular weight phenolic
compounds were detected in 'Elegant Lady' and 'Carson', 15 and 12, respectively; (+)-catechin was the major compound
found in both cultivars, but in higher concentrations in 'Elegant Lady'. In the phenolic characterization, 'Elegant Lady'
was observed more closely than 'Carson' for flavonoids. After 30 d of cold storage, 'Elegant Lady' was unacceptable for
consumption due to the appearance of physiological disorders such as wooliness while 'Carson' showed a mean score
within the acceptability range.