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Journal of Food Quality
Volume 2017, Article ID 3283054, 10 pages
Research Article

Preservation of Bioactive Compounds and Quality Parameters of Watermelon Juice Enriched with L-Citrulline through Short Thermal Treatment

1Department of Food Engineering, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Carrera 4, No. 22-61, Bogotá, Colombia
2Postharvest and Refrigeration Group, Department of Food Engineering, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Paseo Alfonso XIII 48, Cartagena, 30203 Murcia, Spain
3Institute of Plant Biotechnology, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Plaza del Hospital s/n, Campus Muralla del Mar, Cartagena, 30202 Murcia, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Encarna Aguayo; se.tcpu@oyauga.anracne

Received 11 May 2017; Revised 13 August 2017; Accepted 12 September 2017; Published 29 October 2017

Academic Editor: Jorge Moreno

Copyright © 2017 Martha P. Tarazona-Díaz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


L-citrulline is a nonessential amino acid with demonstrated health benefits for humans, and watermelon is a fruit rich in this amino acid. The juice industry is developing functional beverages through the enrichment with external bioactive compounds; this kind of industry uses conventional pasteurization because of its efficiency and simplicity. In this experiment, the effects of pasteurization (80°C for 40 s or 90 s) and storage (4°C for 30 days) on different parameters were evaluated in a watermelon juice (3.68 g kg−1 of natural L-citrulline) enriched with external L-citrulline (12 g kg−1). Enzymatic activity (peroxidase, pectin methyl esterase, and polygalacturonase) was inactivated (74 to 89%, 89 to 90%, and 11 to 15%, resp.) with the pasteurization treatment, obtaining the highest degradation with the longest heating time. According to the rheology study, the juice’s elasticity was mainly affected by type of heat treatment while its viscosity was more stable and affected by storage time. A reduction in bioactive compounds content, around 10–16% for lycopene and 19–20% for L-citrulline, was observed after the pasteurization treatments, with a higher decrease with increased treatment time. Storage time also induced a reduction in lycopene and L-citrulline. The shelf life was limited by sensorial parameters.