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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 80 (6) 288-295 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2015/80.6.4
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2015 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Physiological responses and quality attributes of Jiashi muskmelon (Cucurbitaceae, Cucumis melo L.) following postharvest hydrogen peroxide treatment during storage

G. Chen1, J. Chen1,2, Z. Feng3, X. Mao1 and D. Guo1
1Food College, Shihezi University, Xinjiang, PR China
2School of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang province, PR China
3College of Food Science and Pharmacy, Xinjiang Agricultural University Urumqi, Xinjiang, PR China

The use of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a potential postharvest treatment for Jiashi muskmelon (Cucurbitaceae, Cucumis melo L.) was investigated. Muskmelon fruit were treated with 3, 4 and 5% (v/v) H2O2, placed into shelves, and stored at 6±1°C and 80–90% relative humidity for 60 days. Physiological responses, nutritional attributes and decay rates were evaluated. H2O2 treatment effectively inhibited respiration and ethylene production rates, and delayed the decline of firmness, soluble solid concentration (SSC) and mass loss, and delayed changes in the contents of Vitamin C, titratable acidity, total phenolic substances, i.e., flavonoids and anthocyanin, and reduced postharvest decay in melons during storage. H2O2 treatment also significantly enhanced activities of defense-related enzymes peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL). These results suggested that H2O2 treatment might trigger several defense responses in muskmelon fruit against pathogenic infection and could be a viable alternative to conventional control of postharvest diseases and improvement of storage quality of horticultural products. In view of these promising results, further research is warranted to elucidate the mechanism of improving fruit quality and resistance to melon fruit decay by H2O2.

Keywords H2O2 treatment, Jiashi melon, postharvest, physiological attributes, storage quality

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a well-studied oxidizing agent, directly toxic to pathogens. H2O2 has antimicrobial efficiency. H2O2 is of great use in hydroponics and soilless gardening, is sometimes used for root initiation in cuttings, and has been applied to many plants and fresh fruit.
What are the new findings?
  • In this article, it was found that H2O2 delayed the climacteric, enhanced defense-related enzymes activities, obviously delaying the decline of firmness and weight loss. H2O2 treatment maintained melon quality attributes, and delayed changes in contents of Vitamin C, TA, total phenolic, flavonoids and anthocyanin, and reduced postharvest natural decay in melons during storage.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • H2O2 treatment may contribute to new technology of storage and preservation after harvest and improve fruit quality and resistance to Jiashi melon fruit decay.

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Received: 12 August 2014 | Revised: 24 April 2015 | Accepted: 16 October 2015 | Published: 21 December 2015 | Available online: 21 December 2015

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