Nectarines are a sweet stone fruit that is traditionally available during the summer. Nectarines are considered a subspecies of a peach, yet they are a different fruit. The best way to identify the difference between a nectarine and peach is by the lack of fuzz on the nectarine skin. They are juicy and are very nutritious as well. Nectarines are low in calories and fat and are full of vitamins and fiber as well as antioxidants.
There are more than 100 varieties of nectarines. Nectarines are more delicate than peaches and bruise very easily.
Nectarine varieties are categorized according to the way the flesh is attached to the pit:
• Clingstone Nectarines – flesh is attached firmly to the pit
• Freestone Nectarines – flesh can be easily separated from pit
Nectarines can have either a yellow or white interior flesh.
Yellow flesh nectarines have smooth skin of golden yellow with large blushes of red. Their flesh has a noticeable pink tinge with a distinct aroma and a more pronounced flavor. Yellow-fleshed nectarines have higher levels of beta carotene which is converted to Vitamin A within the body. This vitamin is an immune booster, great for the skin, and is an antioxidant.
White flesh nectarines distinguish themselves from yellow nectarine varieties by their balance of sugar and acid. White nectarines lack the acidity that yellow nectarines contain, hence, they are referred to as sub-acid. Their skin is very thin, smooth and blushed with hues of ruby, pink and ivory throughout. The flesh is overly juicy when ripe, and creamy in color.
Nectarines are a good source of Vitamin C and low in calories with no sodium or cholesterol. Nectarines are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin C.
The most common package type for nectarines are:
• Single Layer tray pack
• Double layer tray pack
• 25 lb. Volume Fill