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Title: Optimisation of flavour in long shelf-life varieties of melon (Cucumis melo L.)
Author: Lignou, Stella
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 695X
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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This dissertation presents a study on the optimisation of flavour in long shelf-life varieties of melon (Cucumis melo L.). The aim of this research is to better understand the changes which take place during storage of different varieties and to identify flavoursome varieties that are more likely to give extended shelf life. Flavour is extremely important in the eating quality of fruit; however, it may be compromised in delivering yield and shelf-life, leading to general customer dissatisfaction. As a result, there is a challenge in the fresh-fruit industry to produce extended shelf-life varieties with excellent flavour quality. Flavour is complex and is both defmed by taste and aroma components, and the interactions of the two. The metabolites responsible can be non-volatile compounds, such as sugars and organic acids that influence the basic taste of sweet and sourness respectively, volatile metabolites which define the aroma qualities of the fruit, and semi-volatile metabolites which can act as either taste or aroma components. Overall, in melon there is not a single compound that defmes melon flavour but the flavour profile contains several classes of " aroma compounds. Esters, contribute to the desirable, sweet and fruity notes; sulfur- containing compounds to either cheesy or green/mushroom notes; aldehydes and alcohols with short alkyl chains to malty and butterscotch notes and those with longer alkyl chains to green and fatty notes. Both sensory and instrumental analysis revealed that harvest maturity, as well as duration of storage, had a significant effect on the levels of these compounds. Mature fruit exhibited high quantities of esters and higher scores for desirable sensory characteristics (e.g. sweet, floral, honey, strawberries odour and taste-flavour). The levels of the majority of esters (including diacetates) increased during storage whereas those of the other classes of compounds increased, decreased or remained constant. Comparison of medium shelf-life (MSL) and long shelf-life (LSL) genotypes indicated that MSL genotypes generally exhibited higher levels of potentially desirable compounds. However, in a study of different genotypes a flavoursome LSL genotype was found which had a profile of flavour compounds that was comparable with the profile of desirable MSL genotypes. This could meet consumers' requirements in terms of appearance, flavour and texture. Future research involving sensory evaluation and consumer study of this particular genotype could provide information about consumer acceptability and preference of this genotype.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available