Quality evaluation of honeydew melon: effects of ethylene treatment
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Exogenous ethylene used to determine if the quality of honeydew melons as delivered to the consumer could be enhanced. External color of melons turned more yellow and less green, the respiratory climacteric was induced, and the total volatile concentration increased sharply after treatment with 1000 ppm ethylene. Thirty-three volatile compounds were identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Significant odor active compounds included 2-methyl-methylbutanoate, 2-methyl-ethyl butanoate 3-methylbutyl acetate, (Z) 6-nonenal, and nonanal. Volatile compounds most closely related to enhanced ripening were 2-methyl methylbutanoate, ethyl butanoate, 2- methylethyl butanoate, pentyl acetate, benzyl acetate, and (Z) 6-nonen-ol (R2=0.43). Descriptive analysis demonstrated that ethylene treatment increased the intensity of fruitiness and decreased crispiness. The melons with low maturity did not respond to the ethylene treatment. Total soluble solids, volatile concentration, internal color L* and the external b* were the best indicators of melon maturity. The results suggest that ethylene treatment can improve the quality of honeydew melons but only within a small range maturity.