Though the terms Cantaloupes and Muskmelon are used interchangeably in the trade, they are not synonymous. Cantaloupes are a type of Muskmelon as are Honeydews, Honeyball, Persian, Casaba, Spanish and Santa Claus melons. Cantaloupes are the relatively small, green skinned melons with a netted surface. The state of this netting is one indication of ripeness. The netting of a ripe melon will be rounded up from the surface. The skin color between the netting will turn from a gray to dull green color in an immature melon to at least a deep uniform green, and in most varieties, an even yellow color when the melon is mature.
U.S. Fancy, U.S. No. 1, U.S. Commercial and U.S. No. 2.
12, 15, 18 and 23 count cartons; 18 to 45 count crates.
Group 4. Ethylene producer.
USDA recommended storage 36° to 41° F. (2.5° to 5.0° C.)
Approximate freezing point 29.9° F. (-1.2° C.)
To prevent deterioration after harvest, the melons should be promptly precooled and maintained at temperatures between 36 and 41. Some shippers request refrigeration settings near 32 F. for short periods of transit. These cooler temperatures should not be held longer than a few days as chilling injury may result.
Summary of Published/Grade Tolerances
(The following pertains to U.S. No. 1 Cantaloupes unless otherwise noted.)
For defects (U.S. No. 1 and higher)
At shipping point
8% total including
4% serious including
1/2% decay or internal breakdown
(See F.O.B. GOOD DELIVERY GUIDELINES)
12% total including a max. of
8% permanent defects or
6% serious including
4% serious by perm. defects
2) Internal Quality
6) Uniformity & Appearance
2) Ground Color
4) Sunken Areas
5) Liquid in Seed Cavity
6) Surface Mold
7) Rhizopus Rot
8) Cladesporium Rot
Suitable Shipping Condition/F.O.B. Good Delivery Guidelines
(Maximum percentage for 5 day normal transit)
15% total including
8% serious including
Internal quality is measured with an instrument called a refractometer which measures soluble solids. The higher the soluble solids, the better the internal quality. The Federal Grade Standards pro- vide criteria for minimum internal quality for each of the U.S. grades. U.S. Fancy requires 11% while U.S. No. 1 requires 9%.
Sources: United States Department Of Agriculture and the Agricultural Marketing Programs and Services.