Melons, Watermelon



  • Scientific Name: Citrullus lanatus.
  • Usage: eaten fresh (cubed, sliced, etc.), also used to flavor summer drinks and smoothies; often used in fruit salads. Watermelon rinds are also edible, and sometimes used as a vegetable. In China, they are stir-fried, stewed, or more often pickled.
  • Outside Coloring: green and yellow or cream.
  • Shape: round to oblong.
  • Size: sizes of these melons can range from ten to twenty-five pounds.
  • Skin Texture: smooth with thick skin/rind.
  • Flesh Description: very crisp, juicy, sweet pink-red flesh
  • Taste: very sweet and refreshing.
  • Size: up to 24” long large.

Receiving Information:

  • Preparation: Melons are usually served slightly chilled with just a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. They can also be eaten plain, used in salads, and make terrific, healthy desserts.
  • Selection: Shoppers should look for watermelon that is firm, heavy for its size and shows no signs of decay.
  • Ripeness: Since most melons are sold slightly under-ripe, they need to be purchased a few days before they are to be eaten so they can develop maximum flavor.
  • Health: Watermelon’s red color is caused by lycopene, a carotenoid pigment that is believed to be a powerful antioxidant that helps fight cancer and other diseases.


  • Optimum Temp (F):  50 – 60F  \  10.0 – 15.6 C
  • Optimum Humidity:  90 – 90 %
  • Storage Life (Days):  14 – 21
  • Ethylene Producer:  No
  • Ethelyne Sensitive:  No
  • Water Sprinkle:  No
  • Odor Producer:  No
  • Ripens After Harvest:  No
  • Mist:  No
  • Top Ice:  No
  • Odor Sensitive:  No
  • Unripe: If you feel that your watermelon is not ripe, holding product at room temperature can improve flavor and coloring.
  • Mealy or soft flesh: Indication of ethylene exposure – keep watermelon separated from ethylene-producing produce. Do not store near ripening rooms.
  • Pitting of rind; off flavor; loss of color: Indication of chill injury – do not store watermelon below 41 degrees F/5 degrees C.

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Produce 101: Melons

Do you thump a watermelon to see if it is ready to eat? Dan talks all about watermelons, cantaloupe, and honeydew in this Produce 101: Melons.

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Produce 101: Melons


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