EXTENSION OF MUSKMELON POST-HARVEST LIFE THROUGH THE USE OF OF HOT WATER TREATMENT AND POLYETHYLENE CARTON LINERS

in HortScience
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  • 1 University of California Imperial Valley Research and Extension Center, 1050 E. Holton Road, Holtville, CA 92250.

Trials were conducted in California to evaluate techniques to extend post-harvest life of Western shipper-type muskmelon cultivars (Cusumis melo L.). The use of .025 mm polyethylene bags, either as individual melon wraps or as liners for 18 kg commercial cartons, minimized water loss and associated softening of the fruit. A three minute dip in 58-60°C water effectively checked surface mold and decay. The combination of hot water dip and polyethylene carton liner maintained high quality marketable fruit for at least 30 days of cold storage at 2-4°C. This technique would require only modest changes in commercial handling practices, with minimal additional per carton cost. Commercial utilization of this technique could stimulate the export of California muskmelons to Pacific Rim countries.

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