Watermelon seed oil

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Male and female watermelon 1458.JPG
male flower
female flower

Watermelon seed oil is extracted by pressing from the seeds of the Citrullus vulgaris (watermelon). It is particularly common in West Africa, where it is also called ootanga oil or kalahari oil.Watermelons probably originated almost 5,000 years ago in the Kalahari Desert of Africa where botanists have found its wild ancestors still growing. Watermelons migrated north through Egypt, and during the Roman era they were cultivated and prized.[1] Traditionally, the seeds are extracted from the seed casing, and dried in the sun. Once dried, the seeds are pressed to extract the oil.The high content of omega acids & Linoleic acid within the oil assist in the removal of excess sebum within the skin ensuring the skin is cleansed. The oil from the watermelon seeds can be used to dissolve the oil build up in the pores. So it is best for oily skin.

Chemical composition[edit]

Watermelon seed oil contains high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids with linoleic and oleic acids as the major acids.[2] It has an indefinite shelf life when it is stored in a cool and dry place. It comes with perfect viscosity. The oil is light and it is colorless or pale yellow in color. It is easily and quickly absorbed in the skin. All these properties make it an all-purpose oil.Watermelon seed oil characteristics were evaluated to determine whether this oil could be exploited as an edible oil. Hexane extraction of watermelon seeds produced yields of 50% (w/w) oil. The refractive index, saponification and iodine value were 1.4712 (at 25 °C), 200 mg KOH/g and 156 g I/100 g, respectively. The acid and peroxide values were 2.4 mg KOH/g and 3.24 mequiv/kg, respectively. The induction time of the oil was also 5.14 h at 110 °C, which was measured for the first time. Total unsaturation contents of the oil was 81.6%, with linoleic acid (18:2) being the dominant fatty acid (68.3%). Considering that the watermelon seed oil was highly unsaturated, the relatively high induction time might indicate the presence of natural antioxidants.[3]

Fatty acid composition of Watermelon seed oil[4]

Fatty Acid Percent %
Palmitic acid(C16:0) 11.0
stearic acid(C18:0) 10.0
Oleic acid(C18:1) 15.0
Linoleic acid(C18:2) 63.0

Specifications of watermelon seed oil[5]

character value
Refractive Index 400Cవద్ద 1.4630-1.4670
Iodine value 115-125
Saponification value 190-198
unsaponifiable matter 1.5% max
Moisture 0.5% max
colour 1/2"cell,(y+5R) 20.0 units

Additional uses[edit]

Watermelon oil is also sold as an emollient, and is used in personal care products.

  • It is also known as Ootanga oil or Kalahari Oil in Africa.
  • Watermelon seed oil is very nourishing yet light oil with good absorption.
  • It is a good choice for use with oily skin but can be effective with all skin types.[6]
  • Its viscosity, mild aroma and indefinite shelf life make it good all-purpose carrier oil for use in aroma therapy.
  • Other thicker oils and oils with shorter shelf lives can be blended with Watermelon seed oil to lighten their texture and aroma and extend their overall shelf life.
  • Due to its rich composition of fatty acids,it is used for smooth skin and also used in skin ointments and formulations.
  • Watermelon seed oil is used in baby formulations, creams, lotions, soaps, and eye creams[7]


  1. ^ "How to Grow Watermelon - Gardening Tips and Advice, Seeds and Plants at". Burpee.com. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  2. ^ Tarek A. El-Adawy and Khaled M. Taha (2001). "Characteristics and Composition of Watermelon, Pumpkin, and Paprika Seed Oils and Flours". J. Agric. Food Chem. 49 (3): 1253–1259. doi:10.1021/jf001117. PMID 11312845. 
  3. ^ "Characteristics and Composition of Watermelon Seed Oil and Solvent Extraction Parameters Effects - Springer". Link.springer.com. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  4. ^ SEA HandBook-2009 by Solvent Extractors'Association Of India
  5. ^ Raziq ; Grasas y Aceites. "Characterization of seed oils from different varieties of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.)] from Pakistan". Grasasyaceites.revistas.csic.es. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  6. ^ "Watermelon Seed Oil". Aromaweb.com. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  7. ^ "Benefits and Applications of Watermelon Seed Oil". Watermelon Oil. Retrieved 2014-04-07.