What is the difference between a peach and a nectarine? It is a question often asked about this fruit. The biggest difference - at least from a layman's perspective - is that peaches have fuzz on their skin while nectarines do not, they are smooth. In terms of what they taste like, many describe peaches as being a more subtly sweet flavor while nectarines have a bit of zing or very slight spiciness. From the scientist's perspective, both come from the same plant, Prunus persica, but the smooth version is caused by a recessive allele and the fuzzy skin results from a dominant allele. While there are few fruits and vegetables with this, its a genetic expression often seen in animals and humans, just as some of us have hairless backs while others do not.Is a nectarine a less healthy fruit than a peach or vice-versa? Surprisingly, the ORAC value for nectarines is half that of peaches. Therefore, at least when it comes to nutritious antioxidants, peaches are the clear winner.
USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010