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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X

Abstract

MKHATHINI, K. M.; MAGWAZA, L. S.; WORKNEH, T. S.  and  MWITHIGA, G.. Determinations of physical and chemical properties of Kwazulu-Natal's household white peach 'landrace' in relation to extension services - a case study of Impendle Local Municipality. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2017, vol.45, n.2, pp.95-109. ISSN 2413-3221.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2017/v45n1a439.

Indigenous fruits constitute a very important part in the food basket of the household farming community in South Africa. Household growers of white peach landrace in KwaZulu-Natal at Impendle Local Municipality suffer major losses due to lack of maturity indices that would allow them to predict and plan for harvesting dates. As a result, the fruit is harvested later than its physiologically correct date and processing becomes difficult when the fruit is overripe or spoilt. Extension services do not have enough information on such fruit quality parameters to assist the farmers. With the aim of developing and promoting the value chain in household farming, this study identified physical and chemical parameters linked to peach landrace maturity in relation to extension. Maturity and ripening related parameters were determined. Fruit reached maturity 129 days after full bloom (DAFB) and this coincided with mass, volume and moisture content at respective stages of 80.00 g, 55.20 cm3, and 83%. Firmness decreased significantly from 79.00 N to 24.70 N during ripening. Total soluble solids (TSS) increased from 13.5 to 19.00 °Brix. The pH value decreased from 3.40 to 4.00. The TSS:TA (titrable acidity-TA) ratio increased from 21.11 to 35.84. The results showed that DAFB, firmness, mass, TSS, volume, and TSS:TA ratio have potential to be used in relation to extension for maturity indexing of white landrace peach fruit as parameters to determine the maturity indices and quality of the smallholder farmer.

Keywords : Extension services; Local informal market; Degree of ripeness; Postharvest quality; Maturity.

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