Monday, May 27, 2013

Water Melon

Botanical name;  Citrallus lanatus (Thumb.) Matsum. & Nakai.

Local Names;     Komadu, Pattakka ; Sinhala    Waththakaip palam; Tamil

Recommended varieties; Sugar baby (Thilini) local cultivars

Nutritional Value (Per 100 g edible portion)

However, this nutritional information may vary depending on variety, climatic conditions, nutrients available for growth of water melon etc.

Medicinal Value/Uses
It is quench thirst when eaten as fresh fruit. The health benefits of water melon include kidney disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart care, heart stroke, muscular degeneration, impotence etc.


Fruiting Season in Sri Lanka – May to June

 Why are they unique?

Water melon is highly adaptive to growing conditions in Sri Lanka. . It is also received cultural value since it is utilize for “Pooja Watti” (A kind of fruit basket give for gods) in “Devala” (A place where God live). It can withstand drought to a certain extent. Its red flesh is very sweet and watery with a distinct flavor and aroma. Almost all the varieties of water melon are very sweet, have special texture, flavor, aroma and special fragrant. Water melon is cultivated as Chena crop; organized seasonal cultivation in paddy fields and highlands. Currently water melon is cultivated in low country dry zone in Sri Lanka.

Water Melon
Potential for water melon fruit processing industry

Water melon fruit processing industry in Sri Lanka is still not exists in Sri Lanka. Water melon is mainly used by hotel industries and they use it to prepare fruit carvings and salads. In addition to that it can be used to produce different value added products such as cordial, RTS, cream, juice, ice cream etc. These value added products can be produced by either cottage level or large scale level. In addition to that research and development activities should initiate to identify maturity index for different types of water melon, storage methods, environmental and consumer friendly ripening methods, development of value added products with enhanced shelf life and preserve nutritional quality etc.

Reference
  • Tropical fruits of Sri Lanka, Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka

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