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MELON TESTING AT THE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE IN CYPRUS 

Melon testing

Stable Micro Systems have installed a TA.XTplus Texture Analyser at the Agricultural Research Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus.

The instrument arrived just in time with the harvest of watermelons for an important trial.

We were very happy to be able to assist and train the new user ‘on the job’. Texture Analysis was one of several methods used to assess melons of different varieties, root stocks and post-harvest storage times. We developed a method to accurately quantify the flesh firmness using the Multiple Puncture Probe (A/MPP). The central pins were removed so as to avoid the hard core which gave a mis-representative result. The outer ring of pins were ideally located as they punctured the heart of the melon yet avoided the seeds.

Sample preparation involved cutting the melon in half and removing the blossom end with a sharp knife to provide extra stability. The melon was presented to the texture analyser and levelled if necessary to ensure a flat testing surface. The penetration test was commenced. The area under the curve was taken as the flesh firmness. The melon was then passed to the next station for further destructive analysis including sugar content, colour evaluation and lycopene content.

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