Watermelon seed oil

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Male (top) and female (bottom) watermelon flowers in side view
Male watermelon flower
Female watermelon flower

Watermelon seed oil is extracted by pressing from the seeds of the Citrullus lanatus (watermelon). It is particularly common in West Africa, where it is also called ootanga oil. The common watermelon most likely originated almost 5,000 years ago in the Kalahari Desert of Africa where botanists have found its wild ancestors, known as the Kalahari Melon, 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.

Chemical composition[edit]

Watermelon seed oil contains high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids with linoleic and oleic acids as the major acids.[2]

Fatty acid composition of Watermelon seed oil[3]

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[4]

character value
Refractive Index (40ºC) 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

See also[edit]


  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. ^ SEA HandBook-2009 by Solvent Extractors'Association Of India
  4. ^ 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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)