BACKGROUND: Orange-fleshed cantaloupe melons have intense aroma and flavor but are very perishable during storage life. Fresh-cut processing enhances ethylene-mediated quality losses. Post-cutting 1-methylcyclopene (1-MCP) application to fresh-cut cantaloupe was evaluated for its effects on quality attributes, phytochemical content and aroma volatiles.
RESULTS: Fresh-cut cantaloupe (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis ‘Fiesta’) cubes treated with 1.0 µL L−1 of 1-MCP for 24 h at 5 °C, packaged in vented plastic clamshells and stored under normal atmosphere at 5 °C for 9 days, preserved their soluble solids, total phenolics, total carotenoids and β-carotene contents, but significant softening occurred. A significant increase of non-acetate esters and a decrease of aldehydes occurred during storage. Most quality attributes of fresh-cut cantaloupe were unaffected by the treatment with 1-MCP. 1-MCP-treated fresh-cut cantaloupe accumulated higher levels of propyl acetate, 2-methylbutyl acetate, methyl butanoate, methyl 2-methyl butanoate, methyl hexanoate, 2-methylbutyl alcohol and phenethyl alcohol, and lower levels of benzyl alcohol and heptanal than untreated controls.
CONCLUSION: Post-cutting treatment with 1-MCP affected nine of the flavor-important volatiles, particularly those derived from the amino acids isoleucine and phenylalanine, but had no practical effect on phytochemicals or other quality attributes. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry