Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: September 30, 2005
Publication Date: May 23, 2007
Citation: Hodges, M., Lester, G.E. 2007. Evaluation of divergent C. melo germplasm fruits for antioxidant content. Acta Horticulturae. 744:349-356.
Consumption of netted muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. Reticulatus group) has been associated with health concerns due to pathogenic bacteria attaching to inaccessible sites on the netted rind. The purpose of this study was to compare 1) the enzymic and non-enzymic antioxidant capacity between representative cultivars of netted muskmelon (‘Cruiser’) and both green-(‘Honey Brew’) and orange-(‘Orange Dew’) fleshed honey dew muskmelons over a storage period of 17 d and 2) levels of non-nutrient phytochemicals between these genotypes in consideration of ultimately substituting netted orange-fleshed with non-netted orange-fleshed muskmelon. Melons were harvested in Texas in 2004. Fruit were analyzed immediately (day 0) or stored simulating retail conditions for 7 or 14 d at 7 degrees C and 95% + 2% RH plus 3 d at 21 degrees C. Both non-netted honey dew exhibited similar and less lipid peroxidation, and hence postharvest senescence, during the 17 d storage period than the netted muskmelon ‘Cruiser’. In comparison with ‘Cruiser’, ‘Orange Dew’ exhibited higher concentrations of B-carotene and phenolics and, with few exceptions, higher activities of the antioxidant enzymes ascorbate peroxidase (AsPX), monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), catalase (CAT), guaiacol peroxidase (POX), and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Higher AsPX, POX, and SOD activities in both ‘Orange Dew’ and ‘Honey Brew’ appear to confer a greater resistance to lipid peroxidation in these muskmelon genotypes than in the netted ‘Cruiser'. ‘Orange Dew’ also appears to be a healthier food choice, not only due to its lack of a netted rind which could potentially harbour human illness-related pathogens, but also that it is superior to both ‘Cruiser’ and ‘Honey Brew’ in overall beta-carotene and phenolic levels.