Submitted to: Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 24, 2005
Publication Date: July 1, 2005
Citation: Collins, J.K., Davis, A.R., Perkins Veazie, P.M., Adams, E. 2005. Artificially sweetened low sugar watermelon found acceptable by Native American consumer groups [abstract]. 2005 Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists. Paper No. 36E-79.
Watermelons are a rich source of lycopene, a compound that may have health functional properties to protect against some cancers and cardiovascular disease. However, intake of watermelon may be restricted for individuals who have diabetes or those who limit carbohydrate intake. Recently, a low-sugar watermelon was developed using traditional plant breeding techniques. Since Native Americans have a high incidence of type II diabetes, they were selected as our test group for evaluating the acceptability of low sugar watermelon artificially sweetened. The objective of this study was to determine consumer acceptability of artificially sweetened low sugar watermelon. Low-sugar and a commercial variety of watermelon (5 and 9% soluble solids concentration, respectively) were washed in water with 5% sodium hypochlorite and air dried. Melons were cut in half and red flesh was removed and cut into cubes. Low and high levels of artificial sweetener were added to the low-sugar watermelon. A commercial watermelon was the control. Students at a Native American school (grades 1 through 12) and adults (ages 21 to 81+) at a Native American Feeding Center (n=172) were given 8.3g of each treatment in random order. Cups were marked with a random three digit code. Panelists were asked to rate how much they liked or disliked the watermelon using a seven-point hedonic scale with Peryam and Kroll verbal descriptors. Lycopene and other carotenoids were analyzed from samples using established methods. Data were analyzed using SAS statistical program (ver. 8.0, Cary, NC) and means were separated using least significant difference. There were significant preference differences among treatments. Samples with the high level were most liked, followed by low level sweetener and control. Lycopene and total carotenoid levels were similar among the treatments. Results show that artificially sweetened low-sugar watermelons were acceptable to Native American consumers.