Submitted to: Institute of Food Technology
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2004
Publication Date: 3/25/2005
Citation: Greene, J.L., Bett Garber, K.L., Lamikanra, O., Ingram, D.A. 2005. Effect of change in storage temperature on sensory quality of fresh-cut cantaloupe melon (CUCUMIS MELO). Institute of Food Technology. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Fresh-cut produce has increased in popularity over the last 10 years. The limiting factor for shelf-life is loss of flavor quality. Optimal storage temperature that slows plant respiration, transpiration, and microbial growth in fresh-cut produce is 4°C, however, maintaining it throughout distribution is difficult. Therefore, it is pertinent to determine whether temperature changes during storage of fresh-cut fruits, such as, cantaloupe melon, will affect their sensory quality. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of temperature maintenance during storage on the sensory quality of fresh-cut cantaloupe. Cantaloupe melon was manually processed into cubes, packaged, and stored at 4 and 10°C for 7 days. Samples were maintained at 4 and 10°C (controls) or transferred from 4 to 10°C after 24 and 48h. Twelve panelists trained in descriptive analysis techniques (Sensory Spectrum Methods) evaluated the melons for intensity of aroma, flavor, and texture attributes on days 0, 2, 5, and 7 of storage. Results indicate that aroma and flavor attributes changed significantly with storage treatment, unlike textural properties, which maintained their quality. Musty aroma notably decreased throughout storage (P<0.0005), while fermented aroma increased in the samples maintained at 10°C and those transferred after 24 and 48h from 4°C storage temperature to 10°C. Samples maintained at 4 and 10°C throughout the study had stronger fruity flavor after 7 days of storage, with intensities of 3.1 and 2.9, respectively. Fruity flavor intensity on day 7 was 2.3 for fruit transferred after 24h and 2.2 for those transferred after 48h. Water-like flavor was more intense in transferred samples than in the controls. It is concluded from the results that temperature variation during storage of fresh-cut cantaloupe could decrease product quality. This research has significance for fresh-cut processors and distributors to understand the effect of temperature fluctuations on product sensory quality.