2010 Annual Report
Processing Under Ultraviolet (UV) Light. Sensory aroma evaluation indicated reduced rancidity and instrumental texture measurements suggested improved firmness retention in cantaloupe cut under UV radiation. Exposure to UV during cutting reduced the microbial load over post-cut UV treatment and no treatment for the 6 day storage duration.
Heat Treatment. Heat treatment in water reduced the rate of respiration and moisture loss during storage. It reduced the microbial count and controlled lactic acid bacteria during the 8 days of storage. Heat treatment increased fruity/melon and sweet/aromatic flavors; and reduced musty, sour, bitter, chemical, and fermented flavors. Heat-treated fruit had reduced respiration and increased hardness, chewiness, and cohesiveness. This method of improving fresh-cut melon sensory properties and shelf life is very feasible and can be accomplished by the in-store processor.
Storage Temperature. Fresh-cut melon samples that remained at 4°C or 10°C had more intense fruity/melon flavor than samples that were held at 4°C for two days followed by storing at 10°C. The development of musty flavor and rancid/painty flavor during storage was more of a problem in the samples that experienced a temperature change than in those that were held at a constant 4°C or 10°C.
Acetate and Non-acetate Ester Compounds. Fruit and sweet taste flavors and cut cube firmness and density were related to contents of acetate and non-acetate organic compounds in the cantaloupe.
Modified Atmoshpere Storage. Passive modified atmosphere storage retarded the loss of volatile compounds in stored (5°C) fresh-cut cantaloupe and honeydew melons, thus maintaining quality during storage. However, lower oxygen availability in fresh-cut fruit stored under controlled atmospheres suppressed some of the acetate esters relevant to the aroma of fresh-cut melon.
Cetylpyridinium Chloride (CPC) Dips. CPC dips were demonstrated to effectively reduce Shigella sonnei, Salmonella montevideo, and Escherichia coli 0157:H7 on fresh-cut cantaloupe and watermelon with very little change in flavor.