Effect of harvesting time on quality and shelf-life of three ‘Galia’ cultivars

Al Fadil M. Baraka, Abu-Bakr A. Abu-Goukh, Mustafa M.A. Elballa

Abstract


Two harvesting maturities in the boarder-line of physiological maturity of three ‘Galia’ cultivars (41 and 44 days after anthesis, DAA) were evaluated during the winter season (2008/2009) at Silate Agricultural Scheme, with respect to quality and shelf-life of the fruits at 18 ± 1oC and  85-90% relative humidity. The cultivars studied were ‘Galia’ F1 Standard, ‘Galia’ F1 MN-318 and ‘Galia’ F1 Solar King. The respiration curves of the three cultivars exhibited a typical climacteric pattern of respiration at both harvesting maturities. Fruits harvested slightly immature (41 DAA), had a lower respiration rate at harvest and during the pre-climacteric phase and higher rates during the post-climacteric phase, compared to those harvested at physiological maturity (44 DAA). Although the fruits harvested at physiological maturity (44 DAA) ripened normally, those harvested slightly immature (41 DAA) failed to develop rind color, to soften, to accumulate TSS or to develop flavor during ripening. At the end of the ripening period, the fruits picked 44 DAA reached the full yellow color (color score 6), while those picked 41 DAA had only reached an average of 2.3 color score. At the full ripe stage, TSS accumulation reached an average of 12.2% in fruits harvested 44 DAA, compared to only 8.8% in those harvested 41 DAA. The drop in fruit flesh firmness during the course of ripening was about 94% in fruits picked 44 DAA and only 33% in fruits picked 41 DAA. The fruits harvested 44 DAA developed excellent flavor (score 5), but those harvested 41 DAA failed to develop flavor. ‘Galia’ cantaloupes should be harvested at the physiological maturity, which corresponds to a change in rind color from green to yellow at the stem-end and with complete netting and formation of the abscission layer.


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