Presently, functional foods and nutraceuticals are gaining immense importance in the prevention of various maladies through dietary regimen module. Consumption of fruits and vegetables based diet has pursuit a range of bioactive components, especially phytochemicals targeting life threatening ailments. In this context, lycopene is an extensively studied antioxidant potentially present in watermelon, tomato, pink guava etc. Watermelon is one of the unique sources having readily available cis-isomeric lycopene. The distinctive aroma of watermelon is imparted by medium- and short-chain fatty acids along with geranial, ß-ionone and neral. Its consumption has been escalated owing to rich nutritional profile and allied health benefits. It is effective in reducing the extent of cancer insurgence, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and macular diseases. The structural characteristics, physiochemical properties and therapeutic effects of lycopene are the limelight of the manuscript. However, further research investigations are still needed to address the health enhancing potential of watermelon lycopene.
Keywords: cancer; cardiovascular disorders; functional foods; lycopene; macular diseases; watermelon.