• Cantaloupe;
  • minimally processed;
  • fresh-cut;
  • sanitizers;
  • shelf-life;
  • hydrogen peroxide

ABSTRACT: Efficacy of decontamination treatments in reducing endogenous microbial populations on cantaloupe and in extending fresh-cut shelf-life were investigated. Composite rind plug samples were washed with water or solutions of sodium hypochlorite, H2O2, commercial detergent formulations containing dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid and phosphoric acid, or trisodium phosphate, and surviving microbial populations determined. Fresh-cut cubes were prepared aseptically from whole melons given similar treatments, and their visual appearance and bacterial population determined during storage at 4 °C. Population reductions on washed rind plugs were < 1 log with water, 1 to 2 logs with washing and sanitizing agents applied individually, and 3 logs with some sequential treatments with H2O2. H2O2 applied at 50 °C was superior to other whole-melon treatments, yielding a fresh-cut shelf-life of > 2 weeks.