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item Perkins Veazie, Penelope

Submitted to: Horticulture Industries Show
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/10/2001
Publication Date: 1/21/2002
Citation: Perkins Veazie, P.M. 2002. Lycopene, watermelon, and health. 20th Annual Horticulture Industries Show. p. 91-93.

Interpretive Summary: Lycopene is a plant pigment that gives the red color to tomatoes, watermelon, and red grapefruit. Lycopene has antioxidant properties and has been linked to reduced incidence of some cancers and of cardiovascular disease. Red-fleshed watermelon contains large amounts of lycopene and ranges in content from 39 to 78 ug/g among varieties. Watermelon lycopene is stable in whole melons, with only 6% of lycopene content lost after two weeks storage.

Technical Abstract: Red-fleshed watermelon contains lycopene, a potent antioxidant. A series of studies have been done with watermelon to determine the range of lycopene among varieties and its stability with storage or after cutting. Watermelon varieties ranged from 39 to 78 ug/g in lycopene content. Melons stored for two weeks at 13 C lost only 3-6% of lycopene. Watermelons cut into 2 inch cubes and stored at 2 or 5 C for 7 days lost 5-8% of lycopene.