How to preserve peaches

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “how to preserve peaches”, and discuss the different methods used to preserve peaches. We will also look at selecting the best peaches for preservation.

How to preserve peaches?

Peaches can be preserved by refrigerating, freezing, dehydrating and canning.

Peaches are well-known fruits that originated in Asia, in China, and have been cultivated there since 1000 B.C. There are several edible varieties of peaches. Peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) is an economically important crop, with a worldwide production of over 22 million tonnes featuring high nutritional attributes and pleasant flavor (1).

Peaches are often confused with nectarines. Nectarines are a variety of peaches characterized by smooth skin instead of the usually fuzzy skin of peaches. Peaches and nectarines can be used interchangeably in dishes. Peaches are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. 

How to store unripe peaches?

The background color rather than the red blush is the key to selecting fresh peaches. The background color should be yellow or cream rather than green. Although the red blush may look appealing, it won’t tell you if the peach is ripe or how it will taste. It should also be free from blemishes and have a fresh peachy odor. When peaches are ripe they will be soft to the touch (4). Unripe peaches must be stored at room temperature. It will take 2-3 days for the peaches to ripen completely.

To speed up the ripening process, store the peaches in a plastic or paper bag with holes cut to facilitate airflow. Place the bag at room temperature away from sunlight.

How to refrigerate peaches for preservation?

Fruits contain approximately 90% water which begin to undergo higher rates of respiration once they are harvested, resulting in moisture loss, quality deterioration, and potential microbial spoilage. Refrigeration slows down the respiration of fruits to increase shelf life (2).

Ripe peaches can be preserved for a few days by refrigeration as the cold temperature slows down the ripening process. Ripe peaches can be preserved for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Long term cold storage may induce a substantial reduction in sensorial quality, often linked with a drastic deterioration of textural properties, such as mealiness, dryness, and woolliness (1).

To refrigerate peaches:

  • Place the peaches in a ziplock bag or an airtight container.
  • Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

How to freeze peaches for preservation?

Freezing reserves of peaches for about 1 year. It is recommended to blanch, peel and slice the peaches before freezing.  Freezing offers a retention of nutrients and other quality attributes during long-term storage. While freezing minimizes loss of nutrients and slows enzymatic browning, browning still occurs during freezing and thawing. Freezing fruits retard the physical, chemical, and biochemical reactions which induce phytochemical deterioration. Most of the liquid water is transformed into ice during freezing, which slows microbial, enzymatic, and lipid oxidation reactions. Moreover, rapid freezing can prevent the loss of water from the plant cell through osmosis while slower freezing rates allow adequate time for water to migrate from the cell resulting in greater drip loss for slowly frozen fruits (2). 

To preserve peaches by freezing:

  • Wash the peaches and dry them using a paper towel.
  • Blanch the peaches by placing them in boiling water for 15 seconds and then immersing them in ice water.
  • Peel the peaches and remove the pits.
  • Slice the peaches into desired thickness.
  • Mix the peaches with lemon juice. Lemon juice will prevent browning.
  • Place the peach slices on a tray or a baking sheet and freeze them.
  • Transfer the frozen peach slices into a zip lock bag.
  • Squeeze out the air, label the bag and freeze and place it back in the freezer.

Frozen peaches can be used in baking, cooking and can also be eaten on their own. 

How to dehydrate peaches for preservation?

Drying is one of the basic ways of preserving food. It involves the removal of water from the product by its evaporation. With this method, water (80-90%) is discharged from the fresh product and a large amount of nutrients are preserved (3).

Dehydrating preserves peaches for about 1 year.

Peaches can be dehydrated by using a food dehydrator, using an oven or by sun-drying.

Using a food dehydrator is the most efficient and easiest way to dehydrate peaches. Using a food dehydrator better preserves the nutrients in peaches compared to using an oven or sun-drying. The only drawback of using a food dehydrator is that the process takes about 18 hours to complete. Food dehydrators are small appliances that are specially designed to dry food. They have a heat source that can be set at 140◦ F and a fan and venting system that provide good air circulation (4).  

To prepare the peaches for dehydrating: 

  • Wash and peel the peaches.
  • Cut the peaches into halves and remove the pits.
  • Slice the peaches into desired thickness. 
  • Soak the slices in lemon juice or citric acid. This will prevent the peach slices from browning.

To dehydrate peaches using a food dehydrator:

  • Place the peach slices on the dehydrator tray with gaps in between the slices.
  • Dehydrate until the peach slices are crispy and dry.
  • Store the dehydrated peaches in an airtight container away from direct sunlight.

To dehydrate peaches using an oven:

  • Place the peach slices on baking sheets and place them in the oven.
  • Set the oven temperature to the lowest possible setting.
  • Allow the peaches to dry for about 8 hours. Check the peach slices once every hour to ensure that the temperature is not too high and that the slices have not burnt.
  • Store the dehydrated peaches in an airtight container away from direct sunlight.

To be successful, the oven temperature needs to be set at 130 – 140 degrees, the oven door needs to be propped open to increase air circulation, and a fan needs to be placed on one side of the oven to blow air into the oven and increase circulation. It may take up to twice as long to dry foods in an oven (4).

To dehydrate peaches by sun-drying:

  • Spread the peach slices on a tray and then in sunlight until they are completely dry.
  • Store the dehydrated peaches in an airtight container away from direct sunlight.

How does canning preserve peaches?

Canning preserves peaches for the longest time. 

If the peaches are canned into sterile jars and processed in a water bath or a pressure canner, they can be stored for about 1 year. 

Peaches are usually canned in sugar syrup, honey or fruit juice. Other fruits such as blueberries and spices can also be added to enhance the flavor. There are several recipes for canning peaches (4). One such recipe can be found here.

  • Choose ripe mature fruit of ideal quality for eating fresh or cooking. 
  • Dip fruit in boiling water for 30-60 seconds until skins loosen. Dip quickly in cold water and slip off skins.
  •  Cut in half, remove pits and slice if desired. To prevent darkening, keep peeled fruit in ascorbic acid solution (see directions above). 
  • Prepare and boil a syrup. Apple juice, white grape juice, or water may also be used as the syrup in canning peaches. 
  • In a large saucepan place drained fruit in syrup, juice or water and bring to boil. Fill jars with hot fruit and cooking liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Place halves in layers, cut side down. 

How to identify ripe peaches for preservation?

Most preservation methods such as dehydration and canning require the fruit to be ripe. 

The ripeness of peaches can be identified by their (4):

  • Color: Ripe peaches range from yellow to reddish yellow while unripe peaches are green.
  • Aroma: Unripe peaches exude little aroma while ripe peaches exude a rich, sweet aroma.
  • Texture: peaches become softer as they ripen. Over-ripe peaches will be too soft and have bruised spots while unripe peaches will be too hard.

Other FAQs about Peaches that you may be interested in.

Can you eat peach pits


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to preserve peaches”, and discussed the different methods used to preserve peaches. We also looked at selecting the best peaches for preservation.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.


  1. Ceccarelli, A.; Farneti, B.; Frisina, C.; Allen, D.; Donati, I.; Cellini, A.; Costa, G.; Spinelli, F.; Stefanelli, D. Harvest Maturity Stage and Cold Storage Length Influence on Flavour Development in Peach Fruit. Agronomy 2019, 9, 10.
  2. Dawson, Paul, Wesam Al-Jeddawi, and James Rieck. The effect of different freezing rates and long-term storage temperatures on the stability of sliced peaches. Int J Food Sci, 2020 
  3. Golisz, Ewa, Małgorzata Jaros, and Monika Kalicka. Analysis of convectional drying process of peach. Tech Sci/Univ Warmia Mazury Olsztyn, 2013, 16, 333-343.
  4. Henderson, Ann. Preserve the Harvest: Peaches. 2019. Utah State University.