Melons

Improve Your Melon Yields with Melon Quality Control

Firm and sweet – those are usually the indicators of a great melon. But how can you ensure melon quality control? This is made even more complicated when you think about how many stakeholders there are in the melon value chain, starting with growers and pickers in the farms and fields, continuing through to marketing companies, wholesalers and distribution companies, and ending with retailers in both the back and front of store. 

This is where Clarifruit finds its sweet spot (no pun intended). From Cantaloupe to Honeydew and beyond, we can help you optimize and streamline your melon quality control processes from end to end with our quality control software, removing the subjectivity of a QC manager’s opinion from the process, and providing insight into the quality of your produce at any and all stages.

Common Defects when Growing & Harvesting Melons

The following melon defects are the ones that are most likely to affect melon quality across the supply chain: 

Alternaria Leaf Blight

This fungus is a common problem for melon quality control, especially where the temperatures are high and rainfall is regular/high. It will usually look like small yellow or green spots with a “halo” around them. If left untreated, leaves will curl and die.

Anthracnose

Also known as leaf spot or fruit rot, anthracnose lesions are brown in color and can be different sizes on the fruit and on the leaves themselves. Pink spores can also appear during particularly wet weather.

Cercospora Leaf Spot

You’ll usually see the initial signs of leaf spot on the older leaves of the melon plant, but as the disease gets worse, the lesions will grow and cover more of the surface of the leaves. In the middle of the lesions you might see that the surface becomes more brittle and prone to cracking.

Charcoal Rot

Charcoal rot usually impacts melon quality control in the fall season, and is a severe defect that can ruin a yield. You can spot this rot by its amber/brown to black oozing substance, plus dying leaves, and a lesion at the soil line.

Fusarium Wilt

This is another fungus that impacts melon quality control, especially in warm and wet weather conditions or soil. You’ll find lesions on the roots and on the stems, plus inside the fruit you’ll likely see reddish brown discoloration.

Gummy Stem Blight

Some people believe that gummy stem blight comes from the seeds themselves, and therefore there isn’t a lot that you can do about it. If you have this problem with your melon crop, you’ll see round brown spots of different sizes on the leaves, and stems will die, while fruit will expel a dark sticky liquid.

Insect Damage

One example of insect damage caused by leafhoppers is aster yellows phytoplasma, which will result in yellow foliage, and rigid stems that grow upright in an unusual way. The leaves can be smaller than normal, and the flowers and fruits are small or disfigured. Other insect damage could be caused by cutworms, flea beetles, thrips or squash bugs.

Mechanical Damage

Defects that are transferred by insects like aphids can also be transferred during mechanical work, for example the virus cucumber mosaic. Plants will grow poorly, and a yellow mosaic pattern will be visible on the foliage. The fruit itself is also usually discoloured.

Powdery Mildew

Usually due to poor air circulation, powdery mildew is noticed by a white, powdery growth which can grow on both the leaves and the stems of the melon fruit. Infected areas will have stunted growth and look distorted in color and shape. It’s most common in dry and humid weather.

Southern Blight

Also known as stem and fruit rot, you can recognize the intense scarring that this defect will cause a melon yield. This is most common in tropical and subtropical regions, and will result in leaves wilting quickly, yellowing foliage, brown stems and branches.

Interesting Facts about Melons

Common Quality Attributes for Growing and Harvesting Melons

The following internal and external melons attributes are commonly used for quality evaluation:

Diameter

Sugar

Seed Cavity Quality

Flesh Color/Texture

For the full list of attributes that the Clarifruit platform currently evaluates and recommended quality standards for each, download our free app now.

The Clarifruit fresh produce quality control software solution also integrates with 3rd-party technology to evaluate external melon attributes. Learn more here.

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