The ultimate summer delight – sweet watermelon is best friends with sweltering summer days. Watermelons have originated from South Africa and had been consumed as a refreshing food item since BC 2000. They come in different shapes, from round, to long or spherical, but are known for their distinct thick green rind.
Mostly the fleshy pulps of these fruits are consumed leaving the seed and the rind. The seeds are promising sources of useful compounds because of their favorable technological or nutritional properties. Watermelon seeds are known to be highly nutrient-dense and rich sources of protein, vitamins B complex, minerals, and fats.
Apart from its other benefits, a team of researchers from Ebonyi State University, Nigeria have investigated the potential of watermelon seed as a soup thickener.
The Nigerians depend mostly on food consumed with soup. According to M.O. Odo, the lead author, “The utilization of watermelon seed in soup preparation will enhance the utilization of the seed and the benefits therein and at the same time minimize its contribution to wastes and environmental problems.”
The study published in the Pakistan Journal of Nutrition revealed that watermelon seed contains high amounts of crude protein, fat, fiber, calcium, Vitamin A and D. The seed is low in anti-nutrients but high in water, oil absorption capacities, and nutrients compare favorably with that of melon seed. Thus, watermelon seed can serve as a soup thickener.