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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Consumer acceptability of low sugar watermelon sweetened with non-calorie sweetener by a Native American community

Authors
item Collins, Julie
item Davis, Angela
item Adams, Arin - CHOCTAW NATION
item Maness, Niels - OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Perkins Veazie, Penelope

Submitted to: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 26, 2006
Publication Date: August 1, 2006
Citation: Collins, J.K., Davis, A.R., Adams, A.L., Maness, N., Perkins Veazie, P.M. 2006. Consumer acceptability of low sugar watermelon sweetened with non-calorie sweetener by a Native American community. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 57:(5/6):363-368.

Interpretive Summary: Watermelons are a good source of lycopene, a carotenoid that exhibits antioxidant activity and may protect against some cancers. However, intake of watermelon may be restricted for individuals who have diabetes or those who limit carbohydrate intake. A low-sugar watermelon was developed at Lane, OK using traditional plant breeding techniques. The objective of this study was to determine if the low-sugar watermelon artificially sweetened was acceptable to Native Americans, a group with a high incidence of diabetes. The red flesh from a low-sugar and a commercial variety of watermelon was removed and cut into cubes. Low and high levels of artificial sweetener were added to the low-sugar watermelon. Students at a Native American school (grades 1 through 12) and adults at a Native American Feeding Center were asked to rate how much they liked or disliked the watermelon using a seven-point scale. Sugar composition, pH, lycopene and other carotenoids were analyzed from samples using established methods. The pH, lycopene, beta-carotene and total carotenoid levels were similar among fruit. Artificially sweetened fruit were rated slightly more acceptable in taste than the commercial control watermelons by both age groups. The low-sugar watermelons were lower in sugar composition but were comparable to conventional melons in all other quality factors and were found acceptable in taste by a broad age group of Native American consumers.

Technical Abstract: Watermelons are a good source of lycopene, a carotenoid that exhibits antioxidant activity and may protect against some cancers. However, intake of watermelon may be restricted for individuals who have diabetes or those who limit carbohydrate intake. A low-sugar watermelon was developed at Lane, OK using traditional plant breeding techniques. The objective of this study was to determine if the low-sugar watermelon artificially sweetened was acceptable to Native Americans, a group with a high incidence of diabetes. The red flesh from a low-sugar and a commercial variety of watermelon was removed and cut into cubes. Low and high levels of artificial sweetener were added to the low-sugar watermelon. Students at a Native American school (grades 1 through 12) and adults at a Native American Feeding Center were asked to rate how much they liked or disliked the watermelon using a seven-point hedonic scale. Sugar composition, pH, lycopene and other carotenoids were analyzed from samples using established methods. The pH, lycopene, beta-carotene and total carotenoid levels were similar among fruit. Artificially sweetened fruit were rated slightly more acceptable in taste than the commercial control watermelons by both age groups. The low-sugar watermelons were lower in sugar composition but were comparable to conventional melons in all other quality factors and were found acceptable in taste by a broad age group of Native American consumers.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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