Germination on the nutritional properties of seeds of four melon varieties
ABSTRACT: Fruit seeds, in terms of nutrition, are as wholesome as the grains cultivated exclusively for human consumption. The fruit pulp-processing agroindustry, more often than not, discards these seeds as unprofitable waste. The inclusion of seeds as a consumer product, equal in value to the pulp itself, can be made possible by adopting processes that increase their worth, and ideally at minimal costs. The controlled germination process is suitable for such an endeavor. The strategy presented here, is low in cost and permits the modulation of the constituents of the seeds by breaking the continuity of the process at the precise time, thus enabling the formation of a new product, which possesses bioactive properties. This research was performed with the focus on exploring the ways that the germination time influences the constituents of the seeds in four melon varieties. The Cantaloupe, Gália, Pele-de-Sapo and Orange melon seeds were studied and the water content, ash, proteins, lipids, total and reducing sugars, total phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids and anthocyanins were determined in the samples. This was done in natura and post germination specifically at 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours. Germination altered all the parameters, except the ash content. In Pele-de-Sapo, the protein content dropped, while in the others it showed an increase. Germination caused a rise in the values of the total and reducing sugars, as well as the total phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids and anthocyanins, showing variations during the intermediate times, based on the variety. Mostly, higher values were achieved at 96 h of the germination process.