Free amino acids and volatile aroma compounds in watermelon rind, flesh, and three rind-flesh juices




Du, Xiaofen
Davila, Mindy
Ramirez, Jessica
Williams, Cierra

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Watermelon rind is treated as agricultural waste, causing biomass loss and environmental issues. This study aimed to identify free amino acids and volatiles in watermelon rind, flesh, and rind-flesh juice blends with ratios of 10%, 20%, and 30%. Among the 16 free amino acids quantified, watermelon rind alone contained higher total amino acids (165 mg/100 g fresh weight) compared to flesh alone (146 mg/100 g). The rind had significantly higher (1.5×) and dominant amounts of citrulline and arginine (61.4 and 53.8 mg/100 g, respectively) than flesh. The rind, however, contained significantly lower amounts of essential amino acids. Volatile analysis showed that watermelon rind total volatiles (peak area) comprised only 15% of the flesh volatiles. Of the 126 volatiles identified, the rind alone contained 77 compounds; 56 of these presented in all five samples. Aldehydes and alcohols were most prevalent, accounting for >80% of the total volatiles in all samples. Nine-carbon aldehyde and alcohol compounds dominated both the flesh and rind, though the rind lacked the diversity of other aldehydes, alcohols, ketones, terpenes, terpenoids, esters and lactones that were more abundant in the watermelon flesh. Watermelon rind was characterized by the major aroma compounds above their thresholds, including 17 aldehydes and six unsaturated nine-carbon alcohols. This study demonstrated the potential for rind as a food or beverage supplement due to its key features such as concentrated citrulline and arginine, relatively low odor intensity, and valuable volatiles associated with fresh, green, cucumber-like aromas.


Article originally published in Molecules, 27(8), 2536. English. Published Online 2022.


Citrullus lanatus, Citrulline, Rind, Rind volatiles, Watermelon juice, Watermelon flavor


This is the published version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Du, X., Davila, M., Ramirez, J., & Williams, C. (2022). Free amino acids and volatile aroma compounds in watermelon rind, flesh, and three rind-flesh juices. Molecules, 27(8), 2536. This item has been deposited in with the author’s permission and in the absence of publisher policies.