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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Market Quality Attributes of Orange-Fleshed, Non-Netted Honey Dew Melon Genotypes as Influenced by Growing Season, Storage Duration, and Temperature

Authors
item Lester, Gene
item Saftner, Robert
item Hodges, D. Mark - AGRI-FOOD CANADA

Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 30, 2007
Publication Date: July 1, 2007
Citation: Lester, G.E., Saftner, R.A., Hodges, D. 2007. Market quality attributes of orange-fleshed, non-netted honeydew melon genotypes as influenced by growing season, storage duration, and temperature. HortTechnology. 17:346-352.

Interpretive Summary: Orange-fleshed honey dew (Cucumis melo Inodorus Group) fruit are known for having superior food safety, food quality, and fruit marketability attributes compared to orange-fleshed netted muskmelon (cantaloupe) (Cucumis melo Reticulatus Group) and to green-fleshed honey dew fruits. However, little is known about the production market attributes and postharvest quality comparisons of the leading orange-fleshed honey dew cultivars. Five orange-fleshed honey dew genotypes (‘Honey Gold’, ‘Orange Delight’, ‘Orange Dew’, ‘Temptation’, and a breeding line) were glasshouse-grown, harvested at abscission (full-slip), and were compared after storage for 3, 17 and 24 days in air at 5 or 10 C. ‘Orange Delight’ and ‘Orange Dew’ were the only genotypes to maintain superior sweetness and orange hue following a 24-day storage period. Our results indicate that orange-fleshed honey dew melons are a promising new melon type suitable as a substitute for orange-fleshed netted cantaloupe, not only for food safety issues, but for overall quality.

Technical Abstract: Orange-fleshed honey dew fruit are known for having superior food safety, food quality, and fruit marketability attributes compared to orange-fleshed netted muskmelon and to green-fleshed honey dew fruits. However, little is known about the production market attributes and postharvest quality comparisons of the leading orange-fleshed honey dew cultivars. Five orange-fleshed honey dew genotypes (‘Honey Gold’, ‘Orange Delight’, ‘Orange Dew’, ‘Temptation’, and a breeding line) were glasshouse-grown in both fall and spring, harvested at abscission (full-slip), and were compared after storage for 3 to 24 days in air at 5 'C or 10 'C. Fruit maturity (full-slip) was between 31 and 38 days after anthesis, with maturation dependent on genotype. Days to maturity took longer in the fall. Fruit size (number of fruit per commercial shipping box) was between 4’s and 6’s. ‘Orange Dew’ consistently had the smallest fruit (6’s) and the breeding line had the largest (4’s). ‘Orange Delight’ and ‘Orange Dew’ had the fewest whole-fruit disorders and the highest percent marketable fruit at harvest and following 24 d storage at 5 'C or 10 'C. ‘Orange Delight’ and ‘Orange Dew’ consistently had a more yellow peel, whereas the peel of others had a more greenish hue. Whole-fruit firmness was 10 to 25 Newtons (N) among the cultivars and from 24 to 35 N for the breeding line. Internal-fruit disorders, percent marketability and mesocarp (pulp) firmness reflected each genotype’s whole-fruit attributes. ‘Orange Delight’ and ‘Orange Dew’ fruit had consistently the highest soluble solids concentration and relative sweetness ratings and their pulp had a more intense orange hue and lower lightness than that of the other genotypes. After a 24 d storage period ‘Orange Delight’ and ‘Orange Dew’ maintained their superior sweetness and orange hue in both spring and fall crops. Our results indicate that orange-fleshed honey dews are a promising new melon type suitable as a substitute for orange-fleshed netted muskmelon not only for food safety issues but for overall quality.

Last Modified: 12/28/2014
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