Submitted to: National Meeting of Institute of Food Technologists/Food Expo
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 6, 2008
Publication Date: June 18, 2008
Citation: Watson, M.A., Bett Garber, K.L., Lea, J.M., Champagne, E.T., Lamikanra, O. 2008. Effect of combined underwater processing and mild heat pre-treatment on the sensory quality and shelf life of fresh-cut cantaloupe melon. National Meeting of Institute of Food Technologists/Food Expo. Technical Abstract: Treatments included a control (no treatment), making the first longitudinal cut under water, a pre-heat treatment in a water bath at 60C for 60 minutes, and a combination of the underwater cutting treatment and pre-heat treatment. Sensory quality and effect on shelf life was evaluated using descriptive sensory analysis, respiration, cell leakage measured by conductivity, and product weight loss, measured during storage of treated fresh-cut cantaloupe. Fresh-cut fruit mildly pre-heated and processed underwater has superior sensory flavor quality, compared to the conventionally processed fresh-cut fruit. Less leakage of ions and enhanced plasma membrane integrity was displayed in both the fresh-cut fruit processed underwater, the mildly pre-heat treated, and the combination of both treatments as evidenced by conductivity measurements. The combined pre-heat treatment and underwater cut significantly decreased the respiration rate during fresh-cut storage, reflecting reduced physical stress and damage to plasma membrane. But, neither treatment alone significantly decreased respiration. Weight loss was not significantly affected by the treatments during fresh-cut storage. These treatments, if utilized in fresh-cut fruit processing, can greatly improve the shelf life quality of minimally processed fruit, in addition to reducing the microbial load.