Determination of the Optimum Harvest Date for ‘Magenta’ Charentais Melon (Cucumis melo L.) Fruit in Jordan

Najib M. El-Assi, Nihad Alsmeirat, Nazeer Alhadidi

Abstract


The aim of this study was to determine the optimum harvest date for Charentais melon (Cucumis melo L.) cv. ‘Magenta’ ensuring export to destination markets in Europe. Fruits were harvested at three stages of development: immature, early ripening and ripe corresponding to 70 (H1), 75 (H2) and 80 (H3) days after sowing the seeds (DAS), respectively. Fruits from each harvest were tested for quality immediately after harvest and after storage periods of 5, 10 or 15 days, which is the expected marketing period, at 7C. External and internal color, firmness, soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), weight and total aroma were the quality parameters investigated. Date of harvest markedly impacted most of the quality parameters, while storage affected firmness and aroma. H1 fruits had higher firmness, lower SSC, lower total aroma volatiles’ concentration and smaller size, whereas H3 fruits showed exactly the opposite and H2 fruits were intermediates. Generally, storage resulted in increased total aroma volatiles, progressive weight loss, decreased firmness, slight effect on color change, but had no effect on SSC and TA. It is concluded that harvesting at 75 DAS (H2) resulted in the best fruit quality that might very well withstand handling, reaching the export markets in an excellent condition, while harvesting at 80 DAS (H3) resulted in fruit quality preferences for immediate consumption at the local market.

Keywords


Cucumis melo, Total aroma, Firmness, Color, Quality

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