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Every person and every living organism needs certain substance called nutrients to build and maintain the body structure and to supply energy that power all vital activities. Fruit is made up of different nutrients needed for growth and health which include proteins, carbohydrates, fat, water, minerals and vitamins. All nutrients needed by the body available through fruit. Each nutrient has specific use in the body, most nutrient do their work best when teamed with other nutrients in the body. The sciences that study nutrients determining what they are, in what quantities they are found in different fruits, how they are utilized in the body and on what quantity they are needed is called nutrients. Proper nutrition means that all the nutrients are supplied and utilize in adequate balance to maintain optimal health, and well being. (Fenny, 2000).
It was thought that fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals were all nutrients necessary for growth and health, but now phytonutrient have been scientifically proven that it also provide health benefit. These nutrients allow for optimal cellular function and communication. Phytonutrients (also referred to as phytochemicals) are compounds found plants. They serve various functions in plants, helping to protect the plants vitality. For example, some phytonutrients protect the plants from UV radiation while others protect it from insect attack.
Not only do phytonutrients award benefit to the plants but they also provide benefit to those whom enjoy plant food. That’s because they have health-promoting activities. Fruits and vegetables are concentrated source of phytonutrients, other plants foods like whole grains, legumes/beans, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices also contain phytonutrients. Since many phytonutrients also serve as the pigment that gives food their deep hues, you can identify many phytonutrients.
Rich foods by looking for colourful foods; for example food that are blue or purple like blueberries, blackberries and red cabbage (rich in flavanooids); yellow- orange foods like carrots, winter squash, papaya and melon (rich in beta-carotene); red to pink foods like tomatoes, guava, and watermelon (rich in lycopene); and green food like kale , spinach and collard greens (rich in chlorophyl). Since not all phytonutrients give colour, it is important to not overlook some off- white food as well for example garlic, onions, and leeks are rich in powerful sulfur containing phytonutrients (Rice et al., 1987).
Citrullus lanatus (water melon) is a tropical fruits which grows in almost all parts of Africa and south East Asia, belonging to the family Cucurbitacea (Koocheki et al., 2007). It is large, oval, round or oblong in shape. The skin is smooth, with dark green rind or sometimes pale green stripes that turn yellowish green, when unripe. Watermelon is a very rich source of vitamins and often used as an appetizer or snack, depending on how it is prepared. it also serve as a good source of phytochemicals such as lycopene, a red carotenoid pigment which acts as anti oxidants during normal metabolism and protects against cancer (Perkins et al., 2004).
Watermelon contains a significant amount of citrulline and after consumption of several kilograms an elevated concentration is measured in the blood plasma; this could be mistaken for citrillullinaemia or other urea cycle disorder (Madel et al., 2005). The fruit can be use as source of preservance for meal and vegetable and destructive action insect and rodent (Purseglove, 1986) oils and proteins are extracted from fruit which is very good for household cooking as well as fuel for most of hurricane lamps (lanterns) used for illumination purpose.
In solution china, bakery workers grind the seed and bake into cake and used in National animal production research institute (NAPRI) from which local domesticated animal and livestock feed. In the medicine, the alkaloid situation in the leaves of various species of watermelon is used analgesic and used for dropsy (Gills, 1987).
In Nigeria, the rind of watermelon is applied to feeds or fertilizer, but they are also edible and sometimes used as vegetable (Southern U.S cuisine, 2010). It can also be peeled and mixed with tiny sliced onion, salt and black pepper to make a great summer salad, it can be fermented, blended and consumed as juice and the seeds can either be seasoned and eaten as food or ground up into cereals and used to make bread. Medicinally, watermelons are milly diurectic and contain large amount of beta- carotene and also serve as a significant source of lycopene (Collins et al., 2005).
1.2 Justification Of The Work
Water melon is a readily perishable fruits. Therefore it is expected that the amount nutritional content compared of the ripe compared to the unripe will be different.
However such difference has not been studied in the pulp of watermelon fruit. The moisture of content of the fruit decreases as its ripen, while for the carbohydrate has the percentage very close to the value reported by (WHO, 2010). And for the mineral some of the essential dietary component that are required in small quantities for normal metabolism and regulation of the body process, so it is very good to take the fully ripped watermelon fruit.
Both ripe and unripe fruit contain a significant amount of essential mineral element, thus Citullus lanatus can be considered one of the most important eatable fruit with high nutritional value
1.3 Scope Of The Study
This study will enable watermelon consumer to know the nutritional value and the phyto nutritional derived from the ripe and unripe. In order to maintain and sustain fruit intake of abundance of the fruit daily of nutritive quality and quantity which will help to ensure better health condition and to prepare it as a juice for refreshing on a hot summer day.
1.4 Aims And Objectives
- To study the presence of some nutrient composition of Citrullus lanatus.
- To determine their percentage at two stage of development (ripe and unripe).