Cantaloupe and honeydew melon cultivars were processed and stored under a high oxygen passive modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) or reduced oxygen controlled atmosphere (CA; 5 kPa O2 + 10 kPa CO2 and balance N2) for 14 days at 5 °C. Atmosphere did not affect softening rate or soluble solids content and had a negligible effect on colour. Volatile compounds known as flavour-important in melons were extracted using stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE) and quantified via GC-MS. Acetate esters increased more in MAP than in CA. Non-acetate esters increased markedly in both cultivars and storage types. Alcohols were more abundant in honeydew than in cantaloupe. Aldehydes decreased during storage in both cultivars and storage types. Lower O2 availability under CA conditions likely suppressed some of the esters relevant to the aroma of fresh-cut melon. Results suggest that package O2 levels are more important in determining aroma than other quality attributes of fresh-cut melon, and high O2 levels may be required to reveal desirable aroma compounds.
- Cucumis melo
- Minimal processing
- Modified atmosphere packaging