Submitted to: Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2005
Publication Date: 3/20/2005
Citation: Lamikanra, O., Watson, M.A. 2005. Mild heat and calcium treatment effects on fresh-cut cantaloupe melon during storage. Food Chemistry. 102:1383-1388. Interpretive Summary: We recently demonstrated that pre-cut heat treatment of cantaloupe melon could be used to improve the shelf life of fresh-cut cantaloupe melon. Heat treatment reduced respiration and moisture loss during storage of the cut fruit. Descriptive sensory evaluations indicated that heat treatment increased intensities of desirable flavor attributes, and reduced undesirable flavors. The biochemical effects of hot water treatment, the effect of cutting time heat treatment, and addition of calcium to water used for pre-cut heat treatment, were evaluated. Heat treatment reduced lipase (enzyme that breaks down lipids) and peroxidase (enzyme produced in response to wound stress) activities. Addition of calcium to the treatment solution inhibited the effect of heat treatment on these enzymes. The non-calcium treated fruit held for 24 h prior to processing had the lowest lipase and peroxidase activities. Textural measurements indicate better retention of texture during storage in heat treated fruit, and that addition of calcium has no effect on firmness retention of the cut fruit. This study is useful for the development of processing methods to improve sensory quality and shelf life of fresh-cut fruits.
Technical Abstract: The effect of mild heat fruit pre-treatment on some properties of fresh-cut cantaloupe melon during storage, was determined. Whole fruit previously held at 4 oC was immersed in heated water (60 oC) with and without dissolved calcium lactate (1%). Fresh-cut processing was done immediately, either after treatment or after storage at 4 oC for 24h. Headspace gas accumulation indicates reduced respiration, and reduced lipase and peroxidase activities as a result of heat treatment in cut fruit stored at 10 oC. Isoelectric focusing suggests the production of heat shock proteins (PI = 7) as a result of heat treatment. Textural measurements showed increased hardness, chewiness, and cohesiveness, but springiness decreased in heat treated fruit. Presence of calcium in the treatment solution did not affect respiration and textural changes caused by heat treatment. Lipase and peroxidase activities were, however, higher in fruit heated in calcium solutions. Results indicate potential improvement of shelf life of cut cantaloupe melon by mild heat pre-treatment of the fruit, and that the addition of calcium to treatment water will not improve product quality.