Mini-watermelons are a relatively new vegetable specialty and they represent a growing segment of the watermelon market due to their small and one-serving size. The increasing consumer attention for high quality vegetable crops makes necessary to carefully select rootstock/scion combinations capable of ensuring a high quality of the fruits. In this regards, the research aimed at evaluating the effects of different rootstocks (Macis, RS841, Shintosa) on the fruit quality of the mini-watermelon scion cv. Minirossa. The plants were cultivated under greenhouse conditions in Pachino (Syracuse, Italy), which is situated in the south-east corner of the Sicily island. To define the fruit quality, we evaluated the effect of the rootstocks on microbiological parameters, sensory characteristics and volatile aroma profile. All the data were elaborated statistically in order to identify the most appropriate rootstock. Microbiological, instrumental and sensory data were correlated each other. The data evidenced that some rootstocks, easily available in the market, can be successfully used for controlling soil pathogens without determining relevant changes on the fruity quality. The research also emphasized the importance of a global approach in fruit quality determination and the usefulness of sensory analysis which plays an important role in consumer’s satisfaction.
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