Background: Phytonutrients in peach fruits have health-promoting antioxidants against
various chronic diseases. However, there is no extensive data to show the nutritional values of
Local peach cultivars after post-harvest treatments.
Objective: Mainly this study was objective to determine the effect of calcium carbide on nutritional
value and quality of fruits of Pakistani peach cultivars.
Methods: The peach fruits were collected from three different peach orchids of KPK and the fruits
were divided into 4 groups while 5th group was collected from a local fruit shop. Each
experimental group was treated with different concentrations of calcium carbide whereas control
group was not treated. The peel and pulp samples were oven dried and ground to fine powder
separately. The elemental compositions were determined using Particle Induced X-ray emission
and Pelletron Tandem Accelerator.
Results: Sixteen elements were identified in peach fruits and the elements were Al, P, S, Cl, K, Ca,
Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, and Se. In peel, the concentration of some elements increased or
decreased after treatment with CaC2 while in pulp the conc. of nearly all detected elements was
increased in treated samples. We found a significantly higher amount of heavy metals traces,
including As, Se, Co, Si, and P in peach fruits treated with CaC2. Interestingly, the presence of
trichomes in peach skin prevents the transfer of these heavy metals deep into the pulp which was
also verified by the elemental profiling of nectarines.
Conclusion: Conclusively, the artificial ripening with CaC2 changed the nutritional value of peach
fruits that has higher health risks if consume with the peel. According to our best knowledge, this
is the first report that highlights the effects of CaC2 which deteriorate the nutritional value of peach
fruits in Pakistan.