• irradiation;
  • MAP;
  • respiration;
  • packaging;
  • cantaloupe;
  • melon


Fresh-cut cantaloupe was placed in modified-atmosphere packages (4% oxygen, 10% carbon dioxide) and irradiated at 0 (control), 0.5, and 1.0 kGy. Irradiated samples had a lower and more stable rate of respiration than non-irradiated samples over about 20 d. Total plate counts were higher (P < 0.05) in non-irradiated control samples through day 11 (Trial 1) and for all dates tested (Trial 2). Color and texture remained stable for the duration of each study as measured by instruments and trained sensory panels. Sensory evaluation rated the 1.0-kGy sample highest in “sweetness” and “cantaloupe flavor intensity” and lowest in “off-flavor” after 17 (±3) d of storage. Low-dose electron beam irradiation of fresh-cut cantaloupe with modified-atmosphere packaging offers promise as a method of extending shelf life.