The inactivation of Salmonella on cantaloupes using hot water was investigated, and the results of the study was published in the Journal of Food Science.
Whole melons, inoculated with a cocktail of Salmonella isolates, were subjected to thermal treatments of various lengths in water at 65 degrees C, 75 degrees C, and 85 degrees C. Treatment with water at 85 degrees C for 60 and 90 seconds resulted in reductions of up to 4.7 log colony forming units per square centimeter of rind. However, the rind of melons treated at 85 degrees C for 90 seconds were also noticeably softer than the rind of melons treated for 60 s.
Experimental and simulation data indicated that the internal temperature of melons treated with hot water did not increase rapidly compared with the rind temperature. Regardless of the process temperature used, the temperature of the edible flesh, 10 mm from the surface of the rind, remained at least 40 degrees C cooler than the surface temperature of cantaloupe melons.
These results demonstrate the utility of hot water for the inactivation of Salmonella on cantaloupes and provide a framework to producers of fresh-cut melon for the potential use of hot water as an intervention treatment.