Aromatic profile of ‘Galia’ muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. var. Reticulatus Ser.).
Jeanmarie M. Mitchell*1, Daniel J. Cantliffe1, Harry J. Klee1, Steven A. Sargent1, Peter J. Stoffella2, Denise Tieman1 1University of Florida-IFAS, Horticultural Sciences Dept., Gainesville, FL, 32611
2 University of Florida-IFAS, Indian River Research and Education Center, Ft. Pierce, FL, 34945
Galia muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. var. Reticulatus Ser.) is recognized for its exceptional flavor and musky aroma. Recently marketed ‘Galia’-type muskmelons are firmer, but flavor has been compromised in breeding efforts to increase firmness. To determine what has set ‘Galia’ flavor apart from ‘Galia’-types, this study focused on aroma, and sought to identify several volatiles of the true ‘Galia’ F1 hybrid. To evaluate aroma development, fruits were harvested at four maturity stages: 1.) zero-slip, green (ZG); 2.) zero-slip, yellow-green (ZYG); 3.) half-slip (HS); and 4.) full-slip (FS). At each stage, quality factors (size, soluble solids content (SSC), firmness) ethylene and respiration rates were measured. The ‘Galia’ muskmelon results were then compared to 2 ‘Galia’-types (GT), ‘MG10183’ and ‘Elario.’ GC/MS and GC/FID verified 38 aroma compounds. Of these, 13 to 17 compounds significantly contributed to the aromatic profile, depending on stage. Increases in aroma volatiles were observed as fruits ripened and after storage at 20°C. ‘Elario’ had the highest total aromas at every stage. ‘Galia’ had higher volatiles at ZYG and HS than ‘MG10183,’ yet by stage FS, both cultivars had similar aroma values. Most fruit quality attributes, ethylene and respiration rates were similar among all types at stages ZG and ZYG. At stage HS, ‘MG10183’ (10.8 ºBrix) had greater SSC than ‘Galia’ (9.4 ºBrix) and ‘Elario’ (8.6 ºBrix). Also at HS, both GTs were firmer than ‘Galia.’ Although ethylene rates were similar among all types, respiration rates were higher for GT muskmelons. At FS, ‘Galia’ (10 ºBrix) had similar SSC to both GTs, but ‘MG10183’ (11.2 ºBrix) had greater SSC than ‘Elario’ (9 ºBrix). ‘Galia’ proved less firm than both GTs, while all ethylene and respiration rates were similar at FS. Although ‘Elario’ had the highest total aroma values, it was not the sweetest cultivar.