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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PHYSIOLOGICAL AND GENETIC BASIS OF POSTHARVEST QUALITY AND PHYTONUTRIENT CONTENT OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES Title: Rapid method for total carotenoid detection in canary yellow-fleshed watermelon

Authors
item Davis, Angela
item Collins, Julie - EOSU, WILBURTON, OK
item Fish, Wayne
item Tadmor, Yaakov - NEWE YA'AR RES CTR,ISRAEL
item Webber, Charles
item Perkins Veazie, Penelope

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 5, 2006
Publication Date: July 1, 2007
Citation: Davis, A.R., Collins, J., Fish, W.W., Tadmor, Y.K., Webber III, C.L., Perkins Veazie, P.M. 2007. Rapid method for total carotenoid detection in canary yellow-fleshed watermelon. Journal of Food Science. 72(5):S319-S323.

Interpretive Summary: Yellow watermelons contain many different carotenoids, all in low to trace amounts. Since carotenoids have antioxidant properties and potential health benefits, selecting varieties with high concentrations of these valuable pigments is important for breeding lines. Unfortunately, current methods to assay total carotenoid content are time consuming and require hazardous chemicals. This report describes a rapid and reliable method to assay total carotenoid content for yellow watermelon that does not require hazardous chemical. The new method worked for multiple varieties.

Technical Abstract: Lycopene is the predominant carotenoid in red watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. and Nakai) and pro-lycopene is the predominant carotenoid in most orange watermelon. However, yellow watermelons contain many different carotenoids, all in low to trace amounts. Since carotenoids have antioxidant properties and potential health benefits, selecting varieties with high concentrations of these valuable pigments is important for breeding lines. Unfortunately, current methods to assay total carotenoid content are time consuming and require organic solvents. This report describes a rapid and reliable light absorption method to assay total carotenoid content for yellow watermelon that does not require organic solvents. Light absorption of 67 watermelon flesh purees was measured with a diode array xenon flash spectrophotometer that can measure actual light absorption from opaque samples; results were compared with a hexane extraction method. The puree absorbance method gave a linear relationship (R**2=0.85) to total carotenoid content and was independent of watermelon variety within the total carotenoid concentration range measured (0 ug/g to 7 ug/g fresh weight).

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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