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Application of 1- Methylcyclopropene reverses the deleterious effect of exogenous ethylene on fresh-cut watermelon and controls microbial growth.

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Jan. 2006


Zhou, B., McEvoy, J., Luo, Y., Saftner, R., Feng, H., and Beltran, T.


Journal of Food Science


v. 71. n. 1. pp. 1-5


The effects of exogenous ethylene, 1- methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), or both on microbial growth on watermelon fruit and watermelon slices were investigated. Freshly harvested seedless watermelons (Citrullus lanatus Thunb. Matsum and Nakai, variety Sugar Heart) were treated with 0, 0.5 or 1 ppm 1- MCP, 10 ppm ethylene, 1- MCP + ethylene, or air. Fruits were processed into watermelon slices and stored at 5° C. At days 0, 6 and 12 post processing, watermelon slices were sampled for the microbial analysis. Treatment with 10 ppm ethylene alone significantly increased the population of aerobic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, and yeasts and molds on watermelon slices compared to the control and resulted in extensive juice leakage from watermelon slices. The ethylene treatment resulted in high aerobic bacterial counts throughout the flesh of intact melons compared to the controls. A treatment of 0.5 or 1 ppm 1-MCP prior to treatment with ethylene alleviated the deleterious effects of ethylene. Extending the time from harvest to 1-MCP treatment increased the population of aerobic bacteria, but had no effect on the growth of lactic acid bacteria or yeasts and molds.