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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING THE SENSORY QUALITY AND SHELF LIFE OF FRESH-CUT FRUIT PRODUCTS

Location: Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research

Title: Effect of oxygen on aroma volatiles and quality of fresh-cut cantaloupe and honeydew melons

Authors
item Amaro, Ana -
item Beaulieu, John
item Grimm, Casey
item Stein, Rebecca
item Almeida, Domingos -

Submitted to: Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 28, 2011
Publication Date: September 10, 2011
Citation: Amaro, A.L., Beaulieu, J.C., Grimm, C.C., Stein, R.E., Almeida, D.P. 2011. Effect of oxygen on aroma volatiles and quality of fresh-cut cantaloupe and honeydew melons. Food Chemistry. 130(1):49-57.

Interpretive Summary: Cantaloupe and honeydew melon cultivars have different postharvest flavor and volatile patterns. Fresh-cut fruits are rather popular; however, postharvest and consumer issues relating to flavor and quality arise after prolonged storage. To study these differences, fruits were processed and stored under passive modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), or controlled atmosphere (CA; 5 % O2 + 10 % CO2, balance N2) for 14 days at 5 ºC (41 °F). Atmosphere did not affect softening rate or soluble solids (crude estimate of sugars) content, and had a negligible effect on color. Volatile compounds known as flavor-important in melons were extracted using an extraction procedure with stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE), quantified via gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Acetate esters increased more in MAP than in CA. Non-acetate esters increased markedly in both cultivars and storage types. Alcohols, more abundant in honeydew than in cantaloupe, and aldehydes decreased during storage. Lower O2 availability under CA conditions, likely suppressed some of the esters relevant to the aroma of fresh-cut melon. Results suggest that package O2 levels are more important in determining aroma than other quality attributes of fresh-cut melon, and high O2 levels may be required to preserve desirable aroma compounds.

Technical Abstract: Cantaloupe and honeydew melon cultivars were processed and stored under a high oxygen passive modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), or reduced oxygen controlled atmosphere (CA; 5 kPa O2 + 10 kPa CO2, balance N2) for 14 days at 5 ºC. Atmosphere did not affect softening rate or soluble solids content and had a negligible effect on color. Volatile compounds known as flavor-important in melons were extracted using stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE) and quantified via GC-MS. Acetate esters increased more in MAP than in CA. Non-acetate esters increased markedly in both cultivars and storage types. Alcohols were more abundant in honeydew than in cantaloupe, and aldehydes decreased during storage in both cultivars and storage types. Lower O2 availability under CA conditions likely suppressed some of the esters relevant to the aroma of fresh-cut melon. Results suggest that package O2 levels are more important in determining aroma than other quality attributes of fresh-cut melon, and high O2 levels may be required to preserve desirable aroma compounds.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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