Agri-Tech: Inside the Watermelons

The watermelon is one of the world’s most popular fruits. Though it originated from Africa, it has since been cultivated extensively in many parts of the world including China, India and the USA. The watermelon rinds are normally eaten raw or used as ingredients for salads; but for some other cultures, they are stir-fried, stewed, pickled, or prepared into juice or wine. 

There are more than 1200 varieties of watermelon with different color of flesh and sizes (from less than a pound to more than two hundred pounds). Here are some of the notable varieties of watermelons.

Carolina Cross Watermelon: This is one of the most common varieties. It has green skin, red flesh and a fruit ranging from 65 to 150 pounds (29 – 68 kg). The largest melon recorded (262 pounds or 119 kg) is an example of this variety.

Moon and Stars Watermelon: This giant variety has the “night sky” on its skin. Its dark green, purple or black rind has many small yellow circles (stars) and one or two large yellow circles (moon). The flesh is pink or red with brown seeds.


Yellow Crimson Watermelon: This watermelon has a yellow flesh. This watermelon is described as “sweeter” and more “honey” flavored than the more popular red flesh watermelons. On the outside, it looks like the regular red watermelon.

Orangeglo Watermelon: This large oblong watermelon, approximately 9-14 kg (or 20-30 pounds) has an orange pulp. Its light green skin has jagged dark green stripes. Accordingly, this variety is one of the best-tasting and with the fruitiest of aromas. It also has sorbet-like texture perfect for frozen desserts.

Cream of Saskatchewan Watermelon: This variety has a thin, light green with dark green striped rind, with sweet white flesh. The fruit is normally small and round (around 10 inches in diameter).


Densuke Watermelon: This watermelon has a black rind with no stripes or spots. It is only grown in Hokkaido, Japan. In June 2008, a particular Densuke watermelon was sold at an auction for 650,000 yen or (6300 US$), making it the most expensive watermelon ever sold.


Square Watermelon: This is not actually a variety of watermelon, but a fruit grown in a glass box so that it naturally resembles the shape of the container. This technology was first done by Japanese farmers. The square shape allows ease of storage for the watermelons. As expected, the price is usually double than that of the regular ones.


Some other “watermelon” facts:

  • A watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight.
  • It is also mildly diuretic.
  • Watermelon with red flesh is a great source of lycopene.
  • The citrulline present in watermelon is known to stimulate nitric oxide, which consequently relaxes and expands blood vessels (functioning much like Viagra), and may even increase libido. LOL!
Pyramid shaped watermelons have also been developed. However, these watermelons lack in flavor because they are unable to mature. 
 

2 comments:

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