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Keywords:

  • muskmelon;
  • shelf life;
  • ethylene;
  • volatile aroma compounds;
  • polygalacturonase;
  • pectinase;
  • fruit

Abstract

Fresh cut cantaloupe melons (Cucumis melo L var reticulatus) from fruits with extended postharvest shelf life were analysed for changes in their volatile aroma compounds and polygalacturonase activity during storage. The total volatile aroma contents and the number of volatile compounds in fruits with extended shelf life were significantly less than those present in the traditional shelf life cultivar Mission. Esters were the major volatile compounds present in the fruits, and their concentrations decreased considerably with storage of the cut fruit for 24 h at 4 °C. Polygalacturonase activity was detected from measurements of the hydrolytic release of reducing groups after storage of the cut fruit for 3 days. Enzymatic activity decreased thereafter in all fruits. The results indicate a lack of correlation between the postharvest shelf life of whole cantaloupe and that of fresh cut fruit.

© 2003 Society of Chemical Industry