Carotenoid changes of intact watermelons after storage

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Aug 9;54(16):5868-74. doi: 10.1021/jf0532664.


Watermelon contains lycopene, a red carotenoid pigment that has strong antioxidant properties. The lycopene content of watermelon is substantial, contributing 8-20 mg per 180 g serving. There are no reports on carotenoid changes in whole watermelon during storage. Three types of watermelon, open-pollinated seeded, hybrid seeded, and seedless types, were stored at 5, 13, and 21 degrees C for 14 days and flesh color, composition, and carotenoid content were compared to those of fruit not stored. Watermelons stored at 21 degrees C had increased pH, chroma, and carotenoid content compared to fresh fruit. Compared to fresh fruit, watermelons stored at 21 degrees C gained 11-40% in lycopene and 50-139% in beta-carotene, whereas fruit held at 13 degrees C changed little in carotenoid content. These results indicate that carotenoid biosynthesis in watermelons can be affected by temperature and storage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Carotenoids / analysis*
  • Citrullus / chemistry*
  • Food Preservation / methods*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Seeds
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors


  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids