Main content area

Influence of ripening stage on volatiles composition, physicochemical indexes and sensory evaluation in two varieties of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L var reticulatus Naud)

Senesi, E., Di Cesare, L.F., Prinzivalli, C., Lo Scalzo, R.
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2005 v.85 no.8 pp. 1241-1251
Cucumis melo subsp. melo var. cantalupensis, cantaloupes, fruit composition, volatile organic compounds, ripening, brix, soluble solids, odors, flavor, cold storage, cultivars, odor compounds, flavor compounds
The quality parameters of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L var reticulatus Naud) are often related to sugar content and aroma composition. A study of aroma composition using two different extraction techniques (GC-HS and GC-MS extraction concentration) was performed in order to find correlations with sensory descriptors, other quality indices and ripening stage. Two muskmelon varieties (Calypso and Pamir) were assayed at three different ripening stages (unripe, ripe, overripe). Chemical, physical and sensory analyses were performed on the muskmelon samples just after harvest and after 7 days of cold storage. Solid soluble content (SSC) changed from about 10 degrees Bx in unripe samples to about 15 degrees Bx in ripe and overripe samples. Different aroma composition and sensory evaluation were found depending on the ripening stages. The main flavour components detected were esters which increased 10-15-fold from unripe to ripe and overripe stages. The acceptance judgements by panellists were strongly correlated with the sensory descriptor flavour. High statistical correlations were also found between sensory descriptor flavour and some classes of aroma compounds, mainly with total esters (about 0.66-0.69), formates (0.70) and acetates (0.64 and 0.72). The paper demonstrates that some classes of esters are very important to assess the sensory flavour and overall eating quality of muskmelons.