Analysis of Fatty Acid Composition, Antioxidant Activity and Cytotoxicity against AGS Human Gastric Adenocarcinoma Cells of Watermelon Seed Oil

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Arpa Petchsomrit
Safiah Saah
Kuntida Oumpanon
Thanaporn Suwinai
Waeowalee Choksawangkarn


Watermelon, Kinnaree variety, is a popular fruit in Thailand due to the feeling of freshness after consuming. The Kinnaree watermelon seeds are inedible parts and considered as waste from watermelon processing industry. However, the watermelon seeds are rich in beneficial oil. And the effects of watermelon seed oil on cytotoxicity against gastric cancer cells have not been reported. Methods: The watermelon seed oil extraction methods was optimized. Fatty acid composition was evaluated by gas chromatography. Antioxidant activities were determined by 2-2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2’-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS·+) radical scavenging activities. And cytotoxicity against gastric cancer cells (AGS cells) was investigated by 3,(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Results: The results showed that the highest percent yield of watermelon seed oil was obtained using hexane extraction. The analysis of fatty acid composition showed eight types of fatty acids: myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, arachidic acid, palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid. Linoleic acid was the most abundant fatty acid in watermelon seed oil, accounting for 11.23 ± 0.59 %(w/w) of dried seed weight. The watermelon seed oil contained DPPH radical scavenging activity with the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 3.11 ± 1.49 mg/mL; while the IC50 against ABTS·+ was higher than 500 mg/mL. Moreover, the watermelon seed oil showed cytotoxicity against AGS cells with the IC50 value of 453.7 ± 5.70 µg/mL after 24 hr of treatment. Conclusion: Kinnaree watermelon seed oil had high linoleic acid content, antioxidant capacity, and the ability to inhibit AGS cells proliferation. However, this study was a preliminary study on the properties of the watermelon seed oil, which might help improving economic value of the watermelon seed in the future.


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Pharmaceutical Sciences


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