, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 531-541
Date: 30 Apr 2012

Volatile chemical and carotenoid profiles in watermelons [Citrullus vulgaris (Thunb.) Schrad (Cucurbitaceae)] with different flesh colors

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Twelve watermelon [Citrullus vulgaris (Thunb.) Schrad (Cucurbitaceae)] cultivars with different flesh colors were analyzed by HPLC, GC-FID, and GC-MS for their differences in carotenoid, soluble sugar, organic acid, and flavor. Results showed that all-trans violaxanthin, 9-cis-violaxanthin, and luteoxanthin were the main carotenoid esters in watermelons with yellow flesh. However, watermelons with red flesh were rich in all-trans lycopene and their cis-isomers. High concentrations of β-carotene and pro-lycopenes were found in watermelon with orange-yellow flesh. Large variations in the sucrose concentration were observed among the different watermelons. Sucrose and/or fructose were the dominant sugars, while citric acid and malic acid were the main organic acids in watermelon flesh. Limonene was detected in the watermelon flesh of all investigated genotypes. Interestingly, partial correlation analysis of the chemical concentrations revealed 2 significant (p<0.01) positive correlations between β-ionone and β-carotene, and between (E)-geranyl acetone and prolycopenes.