Fresh-cut chunks of orange-fleshed honeydew('Honey Gold', 'Orange Dew', 'Temptation') and green-fleshed honeydew ('Honey Brew') and an orange-fleshed cantaloupe ('Cruiser') harvested at commercial maturities were compared after storage for 0 to 11 days in air at 5 'C.
Fresh-cut cantaloupegenerally had higher respiration and ethylene production rates, aromatic volatile concentrations, beta-carotene, chroma and orange hue than thosef of honeydew whereas honeydew chunks had the same or higher soluble solids content (SSC), Kramer firmness and microbial quality than cantaloupe chunks. All genotypes had similar ascorbic acid levels.
During storage, analytical quality characteristics of fresh-cut chunks from all genotypes were well maintained even though microbial populations increased especially on cantaloupe chunks. Consumers liked the flavor, texture, sweetness and overall eating quality of the orange-fleshed honeydew genotypes as well as or better than those of cantaloupe and green-fleshed honeydew.
Orange Dew scored highest in appearance and had the highest beta-carotene concentration, chroma and orange hue among orange-fleshed honeydew genotypes whereas 'Temptation' generally scored highest for flavor intensity and acceptability and overall eating quality.
Many individual volatiles were identical in cantaloupe and honeydews; however, orange-fleshed honeydew genotypes, particularly 'Temptation', were distinctive from cantaloupe and green-fleshed honeydew in having relatively high levels of various nonenyl and nonadienyl acetates having honeydew-like or uncharacterized aromas. The results indicate that orange-fleshed honeydews are a promising new melon type for fresh-cut processing.
One of the major problems of propagating the honeydew melon, aside from pest and diseases, is wet season production. Wet season is the off-season for producing honeydew melon. The excessive rain causes low yield and poor fruit quality resulting to great loss in production.
How to buy fresh Honeydews?
The outstanding flavor characteristics of honey dews make them highly prized as a dessert fruit. The melon is large (4 to 8 lb.), bluntly oval in shape, and generally very smooth with only occasional traces of surface netting. The rind is firm and ranges from creamy white to creamy yellow, depending on the stage of ripeness. The stem does not separate from the fruit, and must be cut for harvesting. Honey dews are available to some extent almost all year round, due in part to imports during the winter and spring. Chief sources, however, are California, Arizona, and Texas. The most abundant supplies are available from July through October.
Look for: A soft, velvety texture indicates maturity. Slight softening at the blossom end, a faint pleasant fruit aroma, and yellowish-white to creamy rind color indicate ripeness.
Avoid: Dead-white or greenish-white color and a hard, smooth feel are signs of immaturity. Large, water-soaked, bruised areas are signs of injury; and cuts or punctures through the rind usually lead to decay. Small, superficial, sunken spots do not damage the melon for immediate use, but large decayed spots will.