Campus Units

Horticulture, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Document Type


Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Journal of Food Quality





First Page


Last Page





Our research objective was to evaluate the ability of produce washes to maintain the texture and color quality attributes of watermelon and cantaloupe while reducing the levels of natural fungi population on the melon surface. Melons were submerged for 2 min into either water control or water containing quaternary ammonium chloride (300 ppm) or an 18% hydrogen peroxide and 12% peroxyacetic acid combination (100 ppm), or an acetic acid, peroxyacetic acid and hydrogen peroxide combination (0.78%). Microbial analysis and instrumental measurements were utilized to assess the melons on day 0, 7, 14 and 21 in three separate trials. The experimental results indicated no reduction of fungal contaminants and no changes in firmness or color of melons following the applied treatments over the time of the study (P > 0.05). Additionally, the results provided evidence of extension of shelf life due to application of the tested washing solutions onto the watermelons or cantaloupe.

Practical Applications

Concerns over microbial safety in the melon industry prompted the use of intervention treatments to reduce foodborne pathogens. New formulations of antimicrobial treatments have created a wide variety of washing treatments that the melons producers can utilize in their production system. Research has shown that many of these formulations have antimicrobial effects, but little data have shown whether quality affects will result. This fact has caused growers' to hesitate using such products. The results of this work indicate that the chosen produce sanitizers did not reduce the quality of whole melons following washing treatments. Information provided by this work will be utilized to communicate benefits of surface washing in the melon industry, and to promote sanitation and safe handling practices through extension education.


This article is published as Svoboda, A., A. Shaw, L. Wilson, A. Mendonca, A. Nair and A. Daraba*. 2016. The effects of produce washes on the quality and shelf life of “cantaloupe” (Cucumis melo var. cantupensis) and “watermelon” (Citrullus lantus var. lanatus). Journal of Food Quality. 39(6); 773-779. DOI: 10.1111/jfq.12229

Copyright Owner

Hindawi Publishing Corporation



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