The study published online in the journal Hort Science - consisted of 300 consumers that took an online survey and sampled peaches at two Florida farmers markets.
Heres a few of the findings:
- People aged 51 to 68 are the least interested in buying peaches. The scientists think older consumers may have repeatedly bought poor-quality peaches in the past, triggering an interest in other fruits.
- The ideal peach depended on combinations of fruit qualities.
- Peaches labeled as so sweet no sugar was needed were most likely purchased.
- Although consumers wanted sweet, absolute sugar concentrations, there is something other than sweetness that leads to overall liking - and could be acid content and aromas.
- Consumers do not want mealy, pasty, dry peaches.
It was refreshing to see young consumers being interested in purchasing fruit and peaches in particular, said Mercy Olmstead, assistant professor in horticultural sciences and lead author of the study. Most of the breeding efforts here at the University of Florida have been directed toward peaches with non-melting, firmer texture, so having the younger generation prefer crisp, firm peaches was exciting. The fact that consumers desire both melting and non-melting texture peaches reinforces the fact that there are market niches for many types of peach textures. For example, great strides have been made to offer fresh cut peaches that require firm peach varieties.
Peaches are a fleshy fruit with a fuzzy skin, available fresh during the summer season. They can be eaten alone, cooked into a sweet dessert, or used to complement chicken and pork dishes.
One large raw peach weighing approximately six ounces provides about 70 calories. Most of the calories are provided by 17 grams of carbohydrate in the form of fruit sugars. There are 1.5 grams of protein and 0.4 grams of fat in one large peach.
One large peach contains 570 International Units of vitamin A, which is more than 10 percent of the daily recommended amount. More than 20 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C is provided, or 12 milligrams. Peaches are a very poor source of B complex vitamins and vitamin E.
There is no sodium in peaches. One large peach provides 332 mg potassium, nearly 10 percent of the daily recommended amount. There are 10 milligrams of calcium, 30 of phosphorus, 16 of magnesium, 0.4 of iron and 0.3 of zinc in the average peach.