Fermented alcoholic melon (Cucumis melo L.) beverage: processing and characterization

Abstract The objective of the study was to develop fermented alcoholic beverages from different melon varieties. The pulps extracted from melons of the yellow and cantaloupe varieties were diluted with water (ratio of 8:2), and the total soluble solids contents corrected to 15 °Brix with sucrose. The pH values of the mixtures were adjusted to 4.5, sodium metabisulphite (200 mg/L) added and the inoculum (4 g/L) added, thus obtaining two fermentation musts, F1 (yellow melon must) and F2 (cantaloupe melon must). The musts were placed in the reactors, which were maintained at 32 °C throughout fermentation. The fermentation parameters of the process and the physicochemical characteristics of the beverages were determined. The F 1 sample presented the highest fermentation process yield (96.56%), also standing out from F2 in relation to the parameters of ethanol and biomass productivity. The majority of the physicochemical parameters complied with the legislation, with emphasis on the alcoholic content (5.03% and 6.80% v/v), for which the F1 drink presented the highest value. It was concluded that these beverages were viable alternatives to reduce the waste of melon, mainly at the peak of the harvest, and that F1 was the most suitable variety for industrial scale reproduction.