Effects of rootstocks on storage and shelf life of grafted watermelons
Keywords:Watermelon, Crimson Tide, Crisby, grafting, rootstock, storage, shelf life
Watermelon fruits from non-grafted or grafted ‘Crimson Tide’ (CT) and ‘Crisby’ (CR) onto Ferro, RS841, Argentario and Macis rootstocks were compared for their postharvest quality during storage at 7 °C for 21 days and additional 7 days at 21 °C. Non-grafted and grafted CT and CR fruits did not exhibit chilling injury (CI) symptoms, but the 1-2% of fungal decay occurred after shelf life period following storage. Watermelons grafted on Ferro and RS841 rootstocks had higher flesh firmness thicker rind, lower ripening rating, more intense (higher C*) brighter red (lower h° value) color and higher lycopene content after shelf life period following storage, compared to non-grafted fruits. All of the fruit tested by the panelists received high taste scores of >7.9 out of 8.5 at the beginning, but the scores decreased to >6.8 out of 7.7 at the end of shelf life period. Watermelons could successfully be kept for 21 days at 7 °C and additional 7 days at 21 °C. Watermelons grafted on Ferro and RS841 rootstocks had higher postharvest quality, compared to the non-grafted fruits for both cultivars.
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