The use of steam to treat fruits is somewhat difficult to control due to time and exact temperature needed to maintain the desired texture. The application of steam on whole cantaloupe surface for reduction of microbial population would be appropriate since melon has a thick rind that may protect the interior flesh from deleterious effects of the steam. In a preliminary study in our laboratory, steam pasteurization of melon surface was not promising compared to hot water treatment. The inability of the steam to reduce effectively total microbial populations on whole melon surfaces can be attributed to the surface roughness where the netting, cracks, and possible openings due to detached trichome can provide protection to the attached organisms.

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