Michigan Peach Sponsors

A non-profit organization for research and promotion of peaches

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Non-melting Processing Peaches

Non-melting peaches are selected to have orange flesh color with no red, and a distinctive taste somewhat reminiscent of apricots.  Most commercial canned peaches are non-melting types because of the preference for firm peach slices in salads.  Non-melting types have flesh that remain firm in the canning jar and in purees such as baby food.  Non-melting types are clingstone, meaning the flesh adheres to the pit when ripe. Non-melting peaches are often considered as fresh market fruit to be eaten out of hand by some ethic groups.

Michigan peach production stats

History of Processing Peach Industry in Michigan

The first major boost to the Michigan processing peach industry came in the 1950s when the baby food company Gerber encouraged Michigan growers to plant clingstone  peaches. At this same time Suncling and Babygold series of peach varieties became available.  These replace the older clingstone varieties including Ambergem.  Ambergem had some good characteristics but had a tendency toward red in the flesh, which was undesirable for puree used in baby food.   Oceana Cling is a local variety for the Michigan industry.

The most common non-melting type in the past has been Babygold 5. Newer non-melting peaches with better quality have been adopted by Michigan growers. These include two Arkansas selections Goldnine (formerly called A-9) and Allgold (A-142). Goldnine has been rapidly planted by peach growers in the Hart, Shelby, and Ludington areas of west central Michigan. Three new varieties Vinegold, Vulcan, and Virgil have been introduced from the Canadian peach breeding program and are being evaluated by Michigan State University and Michigan growers. It will be a few years before the Canadian selections are grown in significant volume in Michigan.

The processing peach market as a whole has been slowly increasing in recent years, primarily due to the entry of Peterson Farms, Inc., of Sheby, Michigan into the frozen slice cling peach business.  Another new development has been the production of dried and "scoopable" peach products by Graceland Foods of Frankfort, Michigan.
 
Other new varieties that may help the Michigan industry are those from the Vineland breeding program of Dr. Neil Miles.  His new varieties Vulcan, Vinegold, Virgil, and Venture are under test in Michigan.

 

Company Products
Peterson Farms, Inc., 3104 W. Baseline Road, Shelby, MI   49455 Frozen slicesand dices, puree
Gerber Products, 445 State Street, Fremont, MI 49413 Baby food
Birdseye/Comstock/Profac Foods Canned halves, hot packed
Heinz Baby food
Graceland Fruit, Inc. 1123 Main Street, Frankfort, MI 49635 dried copped peaches, "Soft-N-Frozen" scoopable product
 
 

Standard and Promising Non-melting Clingstone Peaches
 
 Click on variety name to see picture

Variety/Selection Ripe days to -/+ RH Comments
Vulcan -2RH Uniform shape, medium size fruit, 80% red skin, good resistence to bacterial spot, relatively free of split pits, brown rot problems noticed in some locations
A-313 -3RH Test selection, 30-60% red blush on an orange/yellow background, cropping still under evaluation, good fruit quality, round to slightly asymmetic, medium size, the pit has a point, bacterial spot resistance looks good so far
Vinegold +3RH Uniform size, good flavor, good bacterial spot resistance, highly colored skin, 30% red blush on dark yellow background, irregular shaped pit, firm flesh free of red pigment, upright tree, large fruit
Veecling +4RH Canadians consider flesh of this variety too light-colored for babyfood, good quality for canning, decent bacterial spot resistance, tendency to split pits, some problems with red in flesh
Goldnine (A9) +4RH Size good for season, good quality fruit, good bac spot resistance, small pit, good processing characteristics, fruit hangs well, range of fruit sizes, good tree life, some split pits some years
Virgil +5RH Good in processing trials, medium firm flesh is golden yellow,skin has 50% red blush on golden yellow background, clingstone, size is adequate, pit has hook
Allgold (A-142) +6RH Generally good fruit size, uniform, good tree, few split pits, good bacterial spot resistance, biannual bearing tendency, Goldnine is preferred over this variety
Catherina +20RH Canning peach developed by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station in approximately 1979, has better bacterial spot resistance but somewhat smaller fruit size than BG5, flesh is slightly darker than BG5
GoldJim (A-219) +22RH Newly named, much better bacterial spot resistance than BG5, 20-50% red blush, light orange flesh, sweet, low acidity, nice quaility, size may not be as good as BG5, productive
Venture (V-75024) +23RH New release from Vineland Station for BG5 season, has greater bacterial spot and brown rot resistance than BG5, trees were available from US nurseries for the first time in 2001
Babygold 5 +28RH Longtime standard variety, moderately suscepible to bacterial spot, little red around pit, heavy and consistent cropper
Babygold 7 +35RH