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Watermelon was thought to not be affected by ethylene (which causes ripening in fruit), especially at low concentrations in a commercial setting, but PhD candidate Yan Lee is proving this wrong.

Yan has been studying the effects of low concentrations of ethylene on the shelf life of fresh-cut watermelon.

He has found that fresh-cut watermelon could last longer and retain a higher quality if ethylene levels are reduced below the usual levels.

Yan is currently growing his own watermelons in TIA's Horticulture Centre to see if reduced ethylene exposure could improve the shelf life of fresh-cut watermelons.

Yan is currently working on his thesis, which he hopes to complete at the end of 2019.

Listen to Yan on ABC radio (at 49:50 mins)

More details in this journal article