Submitted to: Cucurbitacea
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 18, 2002
Publication Date: November 20, 2002
Citation: Davis, A.R., Fish, W.W., Perkins Veazie, P.M. 2002. Reflectance colorimetry does not effectively estimate lycopene content in watermelon. Cucurbitacea 2002. p. 414-419.
Lycopene is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties that imparts the red color in watermelon. Because of its health benefits, the lycopene content in fruit is of interest to the watermelon industry. Unfortunately, current methods to assay lycopene content in watermelon are time consuming, expensive and use hazardous organic solvents. A rapid, inexpensive method that does not require hazardous chemicals would be a great value to the watermelon industry. In this report, a handheld colorimeter and a xenon flash colorimeter/spectrophotometer were used in an attempt to quantify lycopene content in watermelon flesh puree using CIE L*a*b* values. The simple methods descried in this report have limited value as a predictive method for lycopene quantitation.