Submitted to: Journal of Food Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2002
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Citation: Bett Garber, K.L., Beaulieu, J.C., Ingram, D.A. 2003. Effect of storage on sensory properties of fresh-cut cantaloupe varieties. Journal of Food Quality.26:323-335. Interpretive Summary: Fresh-cut cantaloupe is only a small part of the fast growing fresh-cut produce market. One of its limitations is its loss of fresh cantaloupe flavor before visual changes caused by storage are observed. The purpose of this research is to characterize the changes in sensory properties during the fresh-cut shelf-life in four varieties of cantaloupe. This work sets a baseline for sensory changes. At storage temperatures of 4 degrees C there was not much off-flavor development, but there were changes in characteristic on-flavors. This work will be used by breeders, growers and processors to determine varieties that are best for fresh-cut processing. Future work will determine packaging options that will maintain desirable sensory attributes during the shelf-life of the product. In addition, the sensory flavor and texture attributes for fresh cantaloupe will become available in the literature upon publication of this manuscript.
Technical Abstract: The sensory properties of fresh-cut fruit deteriorate before the visual properties. An appealing look that has lost its appealing flavor will not result in repeat purchases. The sensory attributes were characterized for 4 varieties of cantaloupes and monitored for change during storage using descriptive sensory analysis. The 4 varieties - Athena, Sol Real, Primo and Pacstart - were produced in 1999 and 2000. The melons were prepared and stored in rigid packaging. Pacstart was lower in "fruity" and "sweet" intensity. Fruity flavor decreased during fresh-cut storage for all varieties except Pacstart which did not change. "Sweetness" generally increased between 0 and 7 days. Sol Real and Pacstart were significantly harder than Athena and Primo. Sol Real decreased in hardness. "Moisture release" increased during 7-day storage in Athena and Sol Real, but decreased for Primo and Pacstart. Off flavor development was minimal at 4 degrees C.