Journal Articles

Muskmelon Fruit Quality in Response to Postharvest Essential Oil and Whey Protein Sprays

July 27, 2017

Chen Jiang, Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Guoying Ma, and Christopher Gunter (2017). Muskmelon Fruit Quality in Response to Postharvest Essential Oil and Whey Protein Sprays. HortScience 52(6) 887-891.

Author Affiliations

Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, P.O. Box 7609, 2721 Founders Drive, Raleigh, NC 27695
Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, P.O. Box 7609, 2721 Founders Drive, Raleigh, NC 27695; and Plants for Human Health Institute, N.C. Research Campus, 600 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC 28081
Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, P.O. Box 7609, 2721 Founders Drive, Raleigh, NC 27695

Abstract

The consumption of fresh muskmelons (Cucumis melo reticulatus L.) has been linked to severe illness outbreaks due to contamination with bacterial pathogens. Antimicrobial essential oils (EOs) were incorporated into wash water sprays and evaluated as potential agents for postharvest disinfection of ‘Athena’ muskmelons. Freshly harvested fruits were sprayed with 0.5% EOs from cinnamon leaf, thyme, or clove bud emulsified in a whey protein emulsion (WP) as potential washing disinfectants, together with deionized water, water with 200 µL·L−1 free chlorine (pH 7, free turbidity), or oil-free WP as controls. Melons were treated, stored at 4 °C and then evaluated weekly for weight loss, rind color, mesocarp firmness and the compositional quality traits soluble solids content (SSC), pH, β-carotene content, and total ascorbic acid (AsA) for up to 21 days. Essential oil–treated melons were not different from controls in fruit quality and composition with the exception of fruits treated with thyme oil, which were statistically lower in SSC (0.8 °Brix) than those treated with water or cinnamon oil treatment. Internal carbon dioxide was statistically higher (≈0.1% higher in value, equal to a 25% increase) in muskmelons receiving whey protein–based treatments after storage for at least 7 days. Overall, our results suggest that EOs as disinfectants have little effect on quality or composition of muskmelon fruit.

Comments are closed.

Connect With Us