Watermelon seed oil

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.

Chemical composition

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]

Refractive Index (40ºC)1.4630-1.4670
Iodine value115-125
Saponification value190-198
unsaponifiable matter1.5% max
Moisture0.5% max
colour 1/2"cell,(y+5R) 20.0 units

See also


  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.

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