Electron beam irradiation treatment of cantaloupes: Effect on product quality Academic Article uri icon


  • Despite the impressive advances in electron beam irradiation, the technology is not ready for application to all types of fresh and/or minimally processed fruits and vegetables. The relationships between food product quality (nutrients, colour and texture) and irradiation dose are still needed. Cantaloupes ( Cucumis melo, L.) have become a product of interest due to the recent food-borne illness outbreaks related to their consumption in the United States and other countries. The main goal of this study was to verify whether treatment of cantaloupes using electron beam technology has any detrimental effects on the product quality. Whole and fresh-cut packaged cantaloupes were irradiated using a linear electron beam accelerator with the single beam (10MeV) fixture. Samples were stored at 10C for zero, 4, 8 and 12 days along with control (non-irradiated) samples and tested for colour, texture (firmness), size (density), sugars and carotene content to determine the effect of irradiation dose level (1.0, 1.5 and 3.1kGy). Results indicated that irradiation of cantaloupes, as whole fruits with dose up to 1.0kGy, caused no significant changes on the fruits physical and nutritional quality attributes. Irradiating at higher doses had an undesirable effect on product quality. The fresh-cut packaged cantaloupe may be irradiated up to 1.5kGy without worsening the product quality attributes. In both cases, carotene content slightly increased as irradiation dose increased. In general, samples irradiated with dose levels between 1.0-1.5kGy had better quality attributes than the non-irradiated samples.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Castell-Perez, E., Moreno, M., Rodriguez, O., & Moreira, R. G.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Castell-Perez, E||Moreno, M||Rodriguez, O||Moreira, RG

publication date

  • December 2004