Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2006
Publication Date: April 26, 2006
Citation: Zhou, B., Luo, Y., Saftner, R.A., Mcevoy, J.L. 2006. 1-methylcyclopropene counteracts ethylene-induced quality deterioration and microbial growth on fresh-cut watermelon [abstract]. BARC Poster Day. Paper No. 37. Technical Abstract: The development of water soaking appearance, tissue softening, and microbial growth are major quality problems that limit the shelf-life of fresh-cut watermelon. Analytical and microbial quality characteristics of packaged watermelon slices from non-treated and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and/or ethylene-treated whole fruit were investigated. Freshly harvested, seedless watermelons (Citrullus lanatus, cv. Sugar Heart) at the commercial maturity stage were treated with 0.0, 0.5 or 1.0 ppm 1-MCP for18 hours at 20 °C. Non-treated and 1-MCP-treated melons were then stored in an environment containing 0 (control) or 10 ppm ethylene for 5 days at 20 °C to simulate commercial storage conditions. Surface-sanitized watermelons were cut into wedge-shaped slices, packaged into trays sealed with gas permeable polypropylene film, and then stored for 0, 6 and 12 days at 5 °C before evaluating their quality. Watermelon slices exposed to ethylene without a prior 1-MCP treatment had significantly lower firmness readings, enhanced solute leakage and water soaking appearance accompanied with altered volatile profiles compared to those without ethylene exposure or with a 1-MCP pretreatment before ethylene exposure. Slices from ethylene-treated melons also had significant greater aerobic bacterial, yeast and mold, and lactic acid bacterial counts than those without ethylene exposure or with a 1-MCP treatment before ethylene exposure. These results indicate that 1-MCP can be used on whole watermelon to avoid deleterious effects of exogenous ethylene that the melons could be exposed to during shipping or storage.