Minerals And Phytochemical Analysis Of Watermelon Seeds (Citrullus Lanatus)

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Minerals And Phytochemical Analysis Of Watermelon Seeds (Citrullus Lanatus)


Plants contain chemical constituents such as alkaloid, carbohydrate, steroid, terpenoid, saponin, cardiac glycoside, flavonoid, tannin, phenolic, waxes, essential oils, amino acids proteins etc. The presence or absence of some of these constituents has been found useful in the placement of plants in the taxonomic categories. Watermelon seed was studied for the presence or absence of these phytochemicals. Phytochemical screening of the ethanol extract of the seeds revealed that the seeds contain Alkaloid, Saponin, Flavonoid, Cardiac glycoside, Carbohydrate, Steroid, Terpenoid, Tannin, Phenolic, and Anthraquinone some were detected and some were not detected in the watermelon seed chaff and while some were detected and some were not detected in the watermelon seed powder. The proximate composition of watermelon seed was carried out these sample seeds were obtained from discards of plants and prepared for use by decocting, drying and grinding into powder. Using ethanol, their moisture content was extracted, the ash content, crude protein, crude fat, crude fibre, carbohydrate (CHO), energy value as well as the mineral contents were determined from the digested sample of the grinded watermelon seeds. This was used in determining the seeds chemical properties using Flame photometer, colorimeter and AAS (Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer). The minerals determined are K, Na, Ca, Mg, P. Their composition in mg/kg are, for chaff (0.12 ±0.00, 0.58± 0.00, 1.92± 0.00, 1.22± 0.00 and 0.31± 0.00) and while for powder (0.47± 0.00, 0.43± 0.00, 2.37± 0.00, 1.47± 0.00, and 0.19± 0.00) respectively. The Mn content of the seed is below the detectable limit of the method used in determining them.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Information

Watermelon (Citrllus lanatus), is a vine-like flowering plant originally from south Africa and one of most common type of melon. It’s first called. Watermelon, is a special kind referred (mesocarp and endocarp). Pepos are derived from an inferior ovary, and are characteristics of the cucurbitaceae.The Watermelon fruit, loosely considered as type of melon although not in the genus cucumis, has a smooth exterior rind (usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh(usually deep red to pink, but sometimes orange, yellow or white). (Wikipedia contributors, 2013).

Watermelon is cultivated in a wide range of tropical, semi-tropical and rigid region of the world. It is originally found in southern Africa, the indigenous people in their search for water containing foods, selected varieties with low glycoside content. In ancient time times in an Eastern direction to Indian. According to Iranian Government, statistical data of 2003, vegetable production area is 15024 ha, only in khorasan province, Iran.

It is sown in open field around April and May, and about fifty common varieties of watermelon are found throughout the world, there are five general categories; all sweet, ice box, seedless, crimson and yellow flesh in most of the region around the world. Watermelon is cultivated as grain products (Seyed and Elnaz, 2006).

The edible fruit of watermelon (Citrllus lanatus) belong to the family Cubitacea. The fruit contain many obouate; smooth compressed seeds thickened at the margin and of black or yellowish white colour.Watermelon plays a very important role in Africa as it is used to quench thirst when there is shortage of water. The seed of watermelon (Citrllus lanatus) can be bruised and rubbed up with water to form an emulsion, which can be used to cure catarrh infection, disorders of the bowels, urinary passage and fever. It is also being used as worm expeller; in recent years, it has been used to expel tapeworm. Watermelon seed oil is light penetrating and rich in essential fatty acids.

Watermelon seeds are rich in fat and protein, are widely eaten as a snack, added to other dishes or used as an oil seed. Specialized varieties grown have little watery flesh but concentrate their energy into seed production. In china, watermelon seed as are one of the most common snack foods competing with sun flower seeds, roasted and season, in the west Africa, they are pressed for oil and are in egusi soup and other dishes. There can be some confusion between seed-specialized watermelon variety and the colocynth, a closely related species with which they share many characteristics use and similar or identity names (Wikipedia contributor, 2008).

Watermelon seed is very rich in oil, once dried; the seeds can be pressed to extract the beneficial oil. The oil is known to be a highly suitable addition to baby oil because of its light texture stable shelf life and moisturizing properties, it is also rich in essential fatty acid Omega 6 and 9EFAs (Castello et al.,2002).

An ounce of dried watermelon seed kernel contain about 3 gram of Zinc (or 25 % of the recommended dietary allowed), 158 calories and more than 13 gram of fat (Chef, 2001).

Watermelon seed has an important role to play in people’s diet because of its full nutritious particles and its general and common usage as roasted seed, seed oil, or medicine for reducing blood pressure, it consist averagely of 31.9 % fat, 8.2 % fibre, 6.2 % ash, 130 mg calcium, 456 mg phosphorous, 7.5 mg iron, necessary amino acid such as leucine, isoleucine, tryptophan and valine. The physical property of watermelon varies with its cultivars. (Seye and Elnaz; 2006).

1.2 Aim of the Study

The aim of this research is to extract the active ingredient of watermelon seed, and determine the phytochemical, proximate and mineral constituents of the seed.

1.3. Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this research is to analyze the mineral, proximate and phytochemical screening of watermelon seed for bioactive substances

  1. To extract the watermelon seed using 70% ethanol
  2. To determine the proximate constituents of watermelon seed.
  3. To determine the mineral composition
  4. To evaluate the phytochemical constituents present in watermelon seed.

1.4 Justification of Study

Watermelon which is very watery and sweet fruit has been loved and eaten throughout the world for countries until recently, when the nutritional and health benefit have been discovered. (Hochnuth, 2002).

Due to the knowledge of the health benefit, the consumption rate had increased, as it is considered as the chief of the world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruit of the earth, (Badifu and Ogunsua, 1991; Oyinlola, 2008).

1.5 Scope of the Study

The scope of this research is limited to the minerals, proximate and phytochemical study of watermelon seeds so as to identify its active ingredients.

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