|Perkins Veazie, Penelope|
Submitted to: Cucurbitacea
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/18/2002
Publication Date: 12/1/2002
Citation: PERKINS VEAZIE,P.M., COMPOSITION OF ORANGE, YELLOW, AND RED FLESHED WATERMELON, CUCURBITACEA, 2002. p. 436-440.
Interpretive Summary: Red-fleshed watermelons contain lycopene, an antioxidant, as their predominant pigment. Dietary lycopene may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Yellow and orange-fleshed melons were studied to determine the composition of these types compared to red-fleshed melons. Little to no trans-lycopene was found in the yellow or orange fleshed melons. Rind had less dry weight, total sugars, and sucrose than the melon flesh in all colors. The color of fruits may also be caused by anthocyanins, which are a type of phenolic compound. No anthocyanin was found in any of the colors of watermelons, but total phenolics (colorless) were present, especially in the seeds. Melons were similar among color types in total sugars and total phenolics. Watermelon contains sucrose, glucose, and fructose, mostly in the flesh, and is a source of total phenolics. The color of yellow and orange melons is not from trans-lycopene or anthocyanin.
Technical Abstract: Little is known about the composition of yellow or orange watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) varieties. In this study, moisture content, sugars, fiber, minerals, lycopene and phenolic content of rind and flesh of yellow and orange watermelons was determined. Yellow and orange watermelon varities had little lycopene (0.1 to 4.2 Fg/g FW) compared to red fleshed types (63 to 68 Fg/g). Watermelon rind was higher in percent fresh weight, dietary fiber, and potassium than the flesh. Total sugar content was lower in rind, and sugars were primarily fructose and glucose, compared to flesh, which had about 30% of its sugars as sucrose. Sugar content and type differed little across watermelon flesh colors. Total phenolic content was highest in seeds (82-126 mg gallic acid equiv./100 g fresh weight) and lowest in rind (49-77 mg/100 g), and was generally higher in red-fleshed types (87-91 mg/100 g). These results show that yellow and orange watermelons have little lycopene compared to red fleshed varieties. Additionally, watermelon rind is considerably different in composition than flesh.