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DURIGAN, Maria Fernanda Berlingieri and MATTIUZ, Ben-Hur. Effect of mechanical injuries on the quality of watermelon stored at room temperature. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2007, vol.25, n.2, pp. 296-300. ISSN 0102-0536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-05362007000200033.
Mechanical injuries are the main cause of losses in the post harvest of horticultural products. The effect of different mechanical injuries was evaluated on the quality of watermelons 'TopGun®'. The impact was evaluated when the injury was made by allowing the product to fall from 20 cm height on a hard and plane surface, compression of fruits under a weight of 294N and cutting the fruits with an appropriate blade. After this, the injuried and intact fruits were stored at room temperature (25+1ºC, 65+5%RH). The evaluations were performed every 4 days, for appearance, loss of fresh mass, the content of soluble solids, titratable acidity, ascorbic acid, internal color and respiratory activity. During the storage period of 15 days, the injuries prejudiced the quality and the apearance of the fruits, mainly those submitted to the cut and impact, presenting the worst quality, affecting the chemical parameteres, the appearance and reducing the days of possible comercialization. The pulp turned slightly darker. Loss of fresh mass also was observed during this period and became worst on the fruit submited to the impact. The content of soluble solids and ascorbic acid reduced through the storage period. The respiratory activity was afected in the first hours of analisis by the cut and the impact.
Keywords : Citrullus lanatus; postharvest; compression; impact; cut.