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P.R. Johnstone, T.K. Hartz, and D.M. May

range of California vegetable crops, including muskmelon and honeydew. However, the ability to reduce Ca-mediated disorders through Ca application under representative field conditions has generally been reported to be poor. Misaghi and Matyac (1981

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Krista C. Shellie and David Wolf

“Netted” (Cucumis melo var. reticulatus Naud.) cantaloupes typically abscise when mature, and have a shorter postharvest life than “Honeydew” (Cucumis melo var. inodoris Naud.) -type melons. The amount of ethylene and carbon dioxide produced by two cantaloupe genotypes (slipping), one Honeydew genotype (non-slipping), and the F1 hybrids derived from the slipping x non-slipping genotypes were measured during ripening to understand the genetic control of ethylene and fruit abscission. Sterile, nondestructive gas sampling ports inserted into 20-day-old fruit were used to extract samples from the central cavity of the melons and monitor ethylene and carbon dioxide from day 30 until the fruit was horticulturally mature. Honeydew melons had a lower rate of respiration during maturation and ripening than Netted melons, and Netted melons produced 10-fold more ethylene during ripening than Honeydew types. F1 fruit produced ethylene at levels similar to the Netted parent, abscissed 2 to 4 days later than the Netted parent, yet respired during maturation and ripening like the Honeydew-type parent. Ethylene production, respiration, and abscission appear to be controlled by dominant gene action.

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D. Mark Hodges, Gene E. Lester, Robert D. Meyer, Vivian E. Willmets, and Michele L. Elliot

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.

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John C. Beaulieu

The author thanks Dean Liere and Alex May, Syngenta Seeds, Inc., Rogers Brand Vegetable Seeds, for supplying cantaloupe; Gene Lester for supplying honeydew; Ken Gross for supplying apples; and Jeanne M. Lea and Debbie Harrell for volatile

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J. Farias Larios, J. G. López Aguirre, E. Rincón Cruz, and F. Radillo Juarez

Since 1980, farmers from western Mexico have cultivated melon cantaloupe; however, during the past few years, they have seen the better advantages of honeydew melon. Some of them represent a good alternative to farmers because chemical products and labor costs are reduced, and because they are tolerant to several diseases. The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate 15 new hybrids of honeydew melon in western Mexico. The hybrids evaluated were: Dey Break, Hmx 4596, Hmx 4595, Hmx 4607, Sunex 7051, Rocio, creme de menthe, Silver world, Emerald sweet, Sme 5303, Sme 5302, Santa Fé, PSR 10994, and PSR 8994, Honey Brew was test. Fifteen -day-old plants were transplanted by hand. Treatments were replicated four times in a randomized complete-block design. Beds 1.2 m wide and 7.0 m long were prepared, 1.5 m between beds, distance plant-plant 0.5 m (plant density ≈13,332 plant/ha). Results show that yield of SME 5302, SME 5303, HMX 4596, Rocío, Dey Break, PSR 8994, Sunex 7051, and HMX 4607 had a yield higher of 50 t/ha, Emerad sweet had more number fruit (59 per 10 plants), whereas SME 5303, SME 5302 and Silver world had higher fruit weight (>1.719 gr). We suggest the evaluation of these hybrids in other regions to know the adaptation to different conditions and to select the best in commercial quality and production.

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Gene E. Lester and Michael A. Grusak

Commercially grown honeydew fruit (Cucumis melo Inodorus group) and netted cantaloupe fruit (C. melo Reticulatus group) in low-humidity regions of the U.S. are typically field packed, eliminating the possibility for postharvest chelated-calcium dip treatments to extend fruit shelf life. In this study, calcium treatments were applied to orange-flesh honeydew fruit commercially grown in 2001 and 2002 in Sacramento Valley, Calif. and orange-fleshed netted cantaloupe fruit commercially grown in 2002 in Imperial Valley, Calif., and Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Aminoacid-chelated calcium and mannitol-complexed calcium compounds were applied to field-grown plants at the rate of 2.3 L·ha-1 (1 qt/acre) at 0, 1, 2, or 4 total applications during growth of honeydew and cantaloupe fruit. Applications were A) at female flowering, B) within 15 days (cantaloupe) or 20 days (honeydew) after flowering, C) within 30 days (cantaloupe) or 40 days (honeydew) after female flowering, and/or D) within 3 to 5 days before abscission. One application equaled (A) or (D), two applications equaled (A + B) or (C + D) and four applications equaled (A + B + C + D). Evaluations of fully abscised fruit were exterior and interior firmness, marketability, calcium concentrations, interior soluble solids concentration (sugars), and consumer preference (taste) following harvest and up to 3 weeks commercial/retail storage. Cantaloupe fruit at both locations did not appear to benefit from preharvest plant applications of calcium when compared to fruit from plants treated with water. Honeydew fruit, however, did and the benefit was observed both years. Honeydew fruit that received four preharvest plant applications of calcium, regardless of source, were generally superior in firmness, marketability, and had a higher calcium concentration than fruit from plants receiving water or one or two applications of calcium. Fruit sugars and taste were not affected by preharvest plant applications of calcium.

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Robert A. Saftner*, Judith A. Abbott, and Gene E. Lester

New fresh-cut melon products prepared from orange-fleshed honeydews have recently become available in retail markets. We compared fresh-cut chunks of orange-fleshed honeydew (`Temptation' and four breeding lines), green-fleshed honeydew (`Honey Brew'), and cantaloupe (`Cruiser'). All genotypes had similar respiration and ethylene production rates and soluble solids contents: genotype means for soluble solids contents were between 9.4% and 10.1 %. Five hundred untrained consumers preferred the flavor, texture, and overall eating quality of the orange honeydews to the green cultivar, with `Temptation' scoring highest. `Temptation' chunks were less firm at the time of processing and after 12 days storage than chunks prepared from all other genotypes. The color of orange-fleshed honeydew chunks was intermediate between that of cantaloupe and green-fleshed honeydew and the color was maintained during 12 days storage. Total aromatic volatiles from juice extracts of orange-fleshed honeydew chunks was 1.2 to 4.7 times higher than that of green-fleshed honeydew extracts and volatiles from cantaloupe was >4.8 fold greater than extracts from `Temptation' and >9.3 fold higher than that of other honeydew extracts. Many individual volatiles were identical in cantaloupe and honeydews; however, honeydew genotypes, particularly the orange-pigmented types, were distinctive from cantaloupe in having relatively high levels of various nonenyl and nonadienyl acetates of uncharacterized aromas. The results indicate that `Temptation' and other orange-fleshed honeydews are a promising new melon type for fresh-cut processing.

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Jin-He Bai and Alley E. Watada

A study was made to determine if induction of modified atmosphere at the time of packaging would be of a benefit to the quality of fresh-cut honeydew cubes because the desired gas levels are not attained immediately or at all during the short holding period in modified-atmosphere packages. Fresh-cut honeydew cubes (2-cm cube) were placed in a plastic container underlaid with a water absorbent packet and the container was sealed with a film. The film is coextruded polystyrene and polyethylene (Cryovac), which had oxygen transmission rates of 1448 and 1903ml/m2 per day per atm at 5 °C and 10 °C, respectively. The sealed packages were given one of the following three treatments: 1) the packages were allowed to form their own natural modified atmosphere (nMAP), 2) the internal atmosphere of the packages was flushed with a gas mixture of 5% O2 + 5% CO2 (iMAP), 3) the film was perforated with a needle to have ten 1.5-mm holes (PFP). The packages were stored at 5 °C, 2 days at 5 °C, and transferred to 10 °C or at 10 °C for 2, 4, 7, 9, or 11 days. Quality attributes and microbial population were analyzed after each holding period. The average gas mixture equilibrated to 7% O2 and 9.5% CO2 in nMAP, was unchanged from the induced atmosphere in iMAP, and was close to the ambient condition (air) in PFP. Honeydew cubes were marketable on days 11, 4, and 4 when held in nMAP; on days 11, 4, and 7 when held in iMAP; and unsalable on days 9, 4, and 7 when held in PFP at 5 °C, 10 °C or transferred to 10 °C, respectively. Development of water-soaked lesions and sour odor were the main factor affecting marketability of the cubes. The decreasing pH, chroma and `L' values and increasing hue angle, mesophilic aerobic microrganism, and yeast population was retarded in both of nMAP and iMAP.

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C.E. Thomas and E.J. Caniglia

Seventeen U.S. honeydew-type cultivars of melon (Cucumis melo L.) and three control cultigens were evaluated in replicated, artificial inoculations under controlled conditions for resistance against downy mildew and Alternaria leaf blight. All cultivars tested were susceptible to downy mildew. However, all of the tested cultivars were significantly more resistant to Alternaria leaf blight than the susceptible control. Twelve of these cultivars were not significantly more susceptible to Alternaria leaf blight than the two resistant controls. These cultivars may provide useful sources of Alternaria leaf blight resistance for incorporation into other commercial melon types.

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Gerald G. Dull, Richard G. Leffler, and Gerald S. Birth

A near-infrared spectrophotometric method for estimating the soluble solids in honeydew melons is presented. The method is based on a body transmittance geometry in which the angle between the source incident beam and the detector is approximately 45°. The regression analysis of the spectral and chemical data utilizes a ratio of two second derivatives and resulted in a correlation coefficient of 0.85 and a standard error of calibration of 1.5. The numerator wavelength occurs in a carbohydrate absorption band, thus the method can be interpreted as a measurement of carbohydrates.