Submitted to: Postharvest Symposium ACIAR International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/25/2009
Publication Date: 11/26/2010
Citation: Amaro, A., Beaulieu, J.C., Stein, R.E., Almeida, D.P., Malcata, X.F. 2010. Volatile composition and quality of fresh-cut cucumis melo var cantaloupensis and inodorus as affected by modified and controlled atmospheres. Postharvest Symposium ACIAR International Conference Proceedings. P. 877. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Cantaloupensis melons are aromatic and fast senescing, whereas, Inodorus have less odor and are slower senescing. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is used to reduce respiration rate and extend shelf life, but may alter the synthesis of volatile compounds. We assessed the effects of passive MAP and controlled atmosphere (CA; 5 kPa O2 + 10 kPa CO2) upon quality and volatile production by fresh-cut cantaloupe and honeydew melons, stored at 5 ºC for 14 days. O2 concentration inside the MAP packages decreased during the 14 days, to 11.1 kPa and 14.2 kPa, in cantaloupe and honeydew, respectively. CO2 levels increased to 11.3 kPa and 7.9 kPa during storage, for cantaloupe and honeydew, respectively. In MAP, during the first 4 days of storage, cantaloupe cubes softened at a higher rate (2.0 N.day-1) than honeydew cubes (0.9 N.day-1). Conversely in CA, fresh-cut honeydew softened faster (1.9 N.day-1) than fresh-cut cantaloupe (0.9 N.day-1), which softened faster between days 4 and 7 (2.1 N.day-1). Initial cantaloupe respiration was 17.5 ml CO2.kg-1.h-1, which increased to 63.8 and 43.4 ml CO2.kg-1.h-1 when stored in CA and MAP, respectively. Initial respiration of honeydew melon was 7.7 ml CO2.kg-1.h-1, and increased to 55.5 and 30.0 ml CO2.kg-1.h-1 when stored in CA and MAP, respectively. Volatile compounds that are known to be flavor-important in melons, were extracted using Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE) and quantified via GC-MS. The production of acetate esters increased in both melons stored in MAP, but decreased in cantaloupe under CA conditions. Non-acetate esters increased in both cultivars and storage conditions. Alcohols, initially more abundant in honeydew, underwent a decrease throughout storage. Aldehydes, initially more abundant in cantaloupe, decreased in both melons for MAP but not in honeydew stored in CA. Lower O2 availability in fresh-cut fruit, stored under CA conditions utilized in this experiment, likely suppressed some of the acetate esters relevant to the aroma of fresh-cut melon.