For nearly three decades the ‘Athena’ melon ( Cucumis melo L.) has dominated the eastern shipper cantaloupe market for its uniform quality and proven performance across a broad range of production areas. ‘Athena’ has thick and firm flesh, coarse
fruit and vegetable producers in non-export regions who strategically organize, produce, promote, and sell their products. Cantaloupe melons [Cucumis melo (L.)] are produced in at least 13 different Mexican states, in every climatic zone, and by growers
The common name for botanical varieties and cultivars of Cucumis melo L. is muskmelon. This term includes those forms with both edible and inedible fruits. In the United States the word “cantaloupe” has been applied to cultivars belonging to C. melo var. reticulatus Naud. The fruits of var. reticulatus are medium in size, the surface is netted, and has shallow vein tracts. The flesh is usually salmon colored, but it may vary from green to deep salmon-orange. The vines usually bear andromonoecious flowers, and the fruit generally separates from the stem when mature (slips). Most cultivars grown for commercial purposes in this country belong to C. melo var. reticulatus. The name “cantaloupe” has become firmly imbedded in American culture to indicate these medium-sized, netted melons found in season on shelves of nearly every grocery store and supermarket in the country. For this reason, little can be done to correct its usage except to point out that “cantaloupe” is a misnomer.
rate after cutting of cantaloupe mesocarp has been documented ( McGlasson and Pratt, 1964 ), although the steady-state respiration rates of cut melon pieces can be similar to those of whole fruit under refrigeration ( Aguayo et al., 2004 ; Watada et al
Cantaloupe at commercial stage of maturity were sliced, i.e., prepared as minimally proceed, rinsed with or without sodium hypochloride solution (50 ppm), and drained. They were stored in perforated polyethylene package (PE) at 1 °C in air and controlled atmosphere (2 % O2 and 5 % CO2) for 5 and 10 days. Fresh-cut cantaloupe slices were analyzed initially and after 5 and 10 days of storage for weight loss, lycopene content, fungus infection, flavor and taste, TSS, pH, ethanol, firmness, and electrolyte leakage. Fruit stored in CA exhibited lower weight loss, higher lycopene content, less fungus infection, better flavor and taste, more firmness, higher TSS content, and lower electrolyte leakage than store in air. When compared to fruit treated with sodium hypochloride, lower lycopene content, higher fungus infection, inferior flavor and taste, more softness, and higher electrolyte leakage were detected in fruit that were not rinsed with sodium hypochloride solution. Extended storage time resulted in higher weight loss, increased fungus infection, bad taste, off-flavor, more softness, lower TSS content, and higher leakage value. This study indicates that it is possible to extend the shelf-life of fresh-cut cantaloupe slices from 5 to 10 days if kept at 1 °C in 2% O2 and 5% CO2 in PE package.
Consumption of phytochemicals has been associated with reduced risks of human health dysfunctions such as cancers and heart disease. Such information has led to increased sales of fruits and vegetables. For example, in the United States, an estimated 23% increase in melon consumption (up to 13.2 lbs/capita/annum) has been recorded over 16 years. However, some health issues have been attributed to cantaloupe due to bacteria such as Salmonella attaching to inaccessible sites, such as the rind netting. Honeydew melons do not have a netted rind. The purpose of this study was to compare concentrations of antioxidants between cantaloupe and both green- and orange-fleshed honeydew melons during 14 days of storage to determine if orange-fleshed honeydew melon would represent a feasible alterative to cantaloupe to the increasingly health/food safety-conscious consumer. Cantaloupe (`Cruiser'; C), green-fleshed Honeydew (`HoneyBrew'; HB), and orange-fleshed Honeydew (`OrangeDew'; OD) melons were harvested in Texas at the beginning and at the end of the production season. β-carotene content was highest in OD, followed by C; no β-carotene was detected in HB. β-carotene levels did not change during storage. Phenolic levels increased in all three melon species during storage, whereas total ascorbate content declined in OD and in early harvest HB. Ascorbate peroxidase activities were lowest in OD, perhaps due to the lower ascorbate levels; little difference between the melon species in activities of the other ascorbate-associated enzymes were observed. Based on the phytochemicals measured in this study, choosing non-netted OD over netted C in order to reduce potential exposure to pathogens would not represent a less healthy food choice.
The phase out of methyl bromide has precipitated a need to reduce usage of the all purpose fumigant. Reduction in methyl bromide use can extend the life of existing stocks and make it more likely to continue critical use exemption for future production. Traditional widths for plastic mulch covered beds in Georgia ranges from 32 to 36 inches. By reducing bed top widths, it could be possible to reduce the amount of methyl bromide applied by as much as 60%. The objectives of this work were to evaluate the effects of narrower bed tops and lower rates of methyl bromide on pepper and cantaloupe growth and yield. Bed top widths of 36, 30, and 24 inches were each tested with broadcast rates of 400 and 300 lb/acre of both 67:33 and 50:50 methyl bromide-chloropicrin at Tifton, GA in the fall of 2005. Bed widths were the main plot and methyl bromide rates the sub plot. Plots were 20 feet long with two rows of pepper planted per bed with 12 inches between plants and one row of cantaloupe planted per bed with two feet between plants. All beds were on 6-ft centers and fertilizer rates were constant across plots within a crop. There were four replications. Otherwise normal cultural practices were employed. Crops were harvested at maturity and data collected on yield and plant growth. Pepper yields were depressed by early cold weather. The 24-inch bed tops produced significantly lower yields of extra large, large and total fruit, but had greater top dry weight and root fresh weight than the 36-inch beds. There were no differences found among methyl bromide rates for cantaloupe or for pepper except extra large fruit were greater at the highest rate compared to the lowest. There were no differences among bed top widths for cantaloupe yield or plant growth.
The development of short-internode cantaloupes has been of interest for a number of years because of the obvious advantages of potentially larger plant populations and, more recently, mechanical harvest. In those areas where furrow irrigation is practiced, the savings in labor requirement to keep vines trained up on the beds is also a factor.
A system for collecting winter rainfall and storing it for crop use during the growing season was developed and tested for three seasons for non-irrigated cantaloupe production. In early fall raised beds on 2-m centers were shaped with two trenches ca. 30 cm wide and 10 cm deep spaced 50 cm apart. Black plastic mulch was applied over the beds, with small mounds of soil placed on the plastic over the trenches to conform the mulch to the shape of the beds. Slits 15 cm long were made in the bottom of the trenches at 1 m intervals. Fifty kg/ha of a polyacrylamide gel was incorporated into the top 10 cm of some beds prior to shaping. Precipitation falling prior to spring planting was channelled into the beds through the trenches and prevented from evaporating by the mulch. Cantaloupes were seeded through the plastic in the spring and grown without irrigation. The rainfall capture system increased soil moisture in the surface 15 cm by 50% and in the top 60 cm by over 20%. Plant stands were increased from <10% in uncovered plots to nearly 70% under the system. Under drought conditions in two of the three seasons, yields were significantly higher in the rainfall capture plots than in uncovered plots, although not commercially acceptable. In a wet season, similar differences were noted and good commercial yields were obtained with the system. The rainfall capture system in conjunction with supplemental irrigation has the potential to allow excellent cucurbit production with limited water.
Three transgenic yellow crookneck squash (Cucurbita pepo var. melopepo) and five transgenic cantaloupe (Cucumis melo, Reticulatus group) lines were field-tested in 1993 and 1994, respectively, for resistance to Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus and Watermelon Mosaic Virus II. During both years, non-transgenic plants were inoculated with virus before transplanting to provide a high virus threat to the transgenic plants. Before and after transplanting, serological (ELISA) testing was used to obtain baseline information on transformed plants and to confirm field virus infection. In both years, plant disease development was rated weekly; yield was assessed during 1993. Disease progression, yield, and end-of-season ELISA indicated a significant reduction in frequency of disease incidence in the transgenic lines. Total squash yields did not differ between the transformed and unchanged lines, but the transgenic lines yielded more marketable fruit than the non-transgenic line.