Characterization of seed oils from different varieties of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.)] from Pakistan
Keywords:Fatty acids, HPLC, Oil seeds, Oxidation state, Physicochemical attributes, Tocopherols, Watermelon
This paper reports the physicochemical characteristics of the seed oils from different varieties of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) cultivated in Pakistan, namely Sugar Baby, Q-F-12, D-W-H-21 and Red Circle-1885. The oil and crude protein contents from watermelon seeds, within the range of 28.25 to 35.65% and 20.50 to 35.00%, respectively, varied significantly (p < 0.05) among the varieties tested. The levels of moisture, ash, and crude fiber in the seeds tested were found to be 2.16-3.24%, 1.95-3.42% and 4.29-6.60%, respectively. The physicohemical characteristics of the extracted oils were: free fatty acid contents (1.17-2.10% as oleic acid), iodine value (97.10-116.32 g of I2 100g-1 of oil), saponification index (190.20-205.57 mg KOH g-1 of oil), unsaponifiable matter (0.54-0.82%) and color (1.12-4.30 R + 12.20-33.40 Y). The oils revealed a reasonable oxidative parameter range as depicted by the determinations of specific extinction at 232 and 270 nm (2.90-4.40 and 2.05- 3.09, respectively), p-anisidine value (5.60-7.70) and peroxide value (2.90-5.06 meqO2 kg-1 of oil). Linoleic acid was the major fatty acid found in all the seed oils with contributions of 45.30-51.80% of the total fatty acids (FA). Other fatty acids detected were known to be oleic acid (20.2- 23.5%), palmitic acid (15.1-16.9%) and stearic acid (11.5- 14.4%). The contents of α- and δ-tocopherol in the oils accounted for 120.6-195.6 and 9.1-58.3 mg kg-1, respectively. The physicochemical attributes of the watermelon seed oils showed a wider variation among the varieties tested. The results of the present study indicate that the seeds of the tested watermelon varieties from Pakistan are a potential source of high-linoleic oil and thus can be explored for commercial use and value addition.
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