Watermelons, beloved for their refreshing taste, come in a variety of hues when sliced open.
Many of us are familiar with the bright red interior of a perfectly ripe watermelon. But what about when cutting open to a pinkish hue instead? It can be disappointing.
Is it safe and edible? Does it indicate ripeness or something else entirely?
The pink color inside your watermelon indicates the overripeness of the fruit. Although pink can occasionally be normal, it can also suggest that the watermelon was harvested a bit too late.
In this exploration, we explore the reasons behind a watermelon’s pink interior and what it reveals about the fruit’s journey from the farm to your table.
- Some Insights to Growing Watermelon
- Why is The Watermelon Pink Inside?
- Is Watermelon Supposed To Be Red?
- Is it Safe to Eat Watermelon With Pink Flesh?
- Can You Differentiate A Pink Watermelon?
- What Does A Good Watermelon Look Like?
- What Does A Ripe Watermelon Look Like Just Before It Is Fully Matured??
- Why is My Watermelon White Inside?
- Different Colored Varieties of Watermelon Other Than Pink or Red
Some Insights to Growing Watermelon
Watermelon grows best in the summer season, wrapped in a damp, hot environment. It is fairly easy to fulfill the demands for the development of this fruit, but some instructions can be a bit confusing for beginner gardeners about growing watermelon
You should plant the fruit anytime between late spring and early summer in optimal soil structure. It takes about three months for the watermelon to grow from a seedling to a mature fruit. Some smaller varieties may even take less than that to develop completely.
In some cases, you may notice that your watermelon has turned pink from the inside rather than the traditional red. You shouldn’t worry, as there different varieties of watermelon in a range of colors. Let’s find out the reasons for the pink flesh of your watermelon.
Why is The Watermelon Pink Inside?
Below are the three likely causes of a watermelon from the inside.
#1 – Lack of Lycopene
It is essential to know the origin of the pink color in watermelons. Lycopene is a pigment found in many vegetables and fruits, including tomatoes and raspberrys. It is an antioxidant and is the reason behind the bright red color of watermelon.
Lycopene is classified as a carotenoid. This signifies that it is the reason for the color of your watermelon. The higher the level of lycopene carotenoid, the more saturated your watermelon will be, with a deep pink or red on the inside.
You may find pink watermelons in your batch if your fruit lacks lycopene.
#2 – The Overripeness Factor
The bright pink color observed inside your watermelon can be attributed primarily to an over-ripe watermelon.
An overripe watermelon is discolored from the outside with a dark green rind. It is a pale pink color on the inside. There might be dark blotches on the outside of an overripe melon.
As a watermelon progresses beyond its peak maturity, its deep red flesh may revert to a pink shade. This transition reflects the fruit’s maturity and provides insights into its harvesting timeline.
While pink interiors are normal and are sometimes inherent to certain watermelon varieties, they can often signal that the fruit was left on the vine longer than ideal. so you need to pick watermelons at the right time.
#3 – Nitrates
If you fertilize your soil with a nitrogen-based product, there is a chance that the pink color inside is caused by an excess of nitrates in the soil. A higher concentration of nitrates during fertilization can lead to food poisoning.
Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for watermelon during its growth. Light pink melon, along with a yellow rind, is an indicator of an increased nitrates concentration. You can check whether the pink color is due to nitrates by testing.
Is Watermelon Supposed To Be Red?
Yes, traditionally, the most common variety of watermelon is expected to have a deep red interior when fully ripe.
This red color is attributed to the presence of lycopene, a natural pigment and powerful antioxidant. However, it’s essential to note that watermelons come in various types and colors.
Apart from the red-fleshed ones, there are also varieties with pink, yellow, or even orange interiors. So, while red is a typical color for many watermelons, it is not the only standard.
Is it Safe to Eat Watermelon With Pink Flesh?
Yes, it is generally safe to eat a watermelon with pink flesh. The taste may not be as sweet and flavorful as a fully ripe watermelon, but it’s typically safe to consume.
However, it is always essential to check for any signs of spoilage, such as an off odor, mold, or a slimy texture, to ensure the fruit is still good to eat. Also, to avoid poisoning, check for the concentration of nitrate watermelon.
Simply cut out a piece of its pulp without seeds and place it in clean water at room temperature. It is recommended to use see-through glassware for this test. Check up on the water 10-15 minutes later, and if it is pink colored, there is a high concentration of nitrates in the watermelon, and you should not eat it.
Can You Differentiate A Pink Watermelon?
You can easily spot an overripe watermelon as there is clear structural difference between the two.
An overripe watermelon won’t be as strong as a ripe one. The walls would be somewhat loose, and it won’t be able to stand firm if you pinch it. This mushiness indicates that the watermelon is overripe and is probably pink from the inside.
While many people believe that a light pink watermelon has a lower sugar content and can be an excellent substitute for a typical watermelon, no studies have supported this claim.
If you wish to prevent the situation of finding watermelons with pink flesh in your garden, you need to make sure to provide the requirements that will prevent overripe watermelons. You should know when the watermelon has become ripe and when to harvest it
Look out for watermelon exteriors that host a faded and blotchy green color. It typically indicates that the watermelon will be light pink on the inside instead of the usual red.
What Does A Good Watermelon Look Like?
Watermelons come in various colors and good watermelon are not always red on the inside. Some of the fruit varieties are orange, yellow, and even white. So, if you see a pink watermelon in your garden, the answer may be that the watermelon is of a particular variety. The pink color on the inside does not always mean that the watermelon is overripe.
What Does A Ripe Watermelon Look Like Just Before It Is Fully Matured??
It is vital to establish the harvesting timeline for your melon. As a gardener, you should be able to tell the signs when it is time to cut the fruit. This will help you prevent the overripening of watermelon and aid you in getting bright red fruits for your dishes.
Simply lift the watermelon from its harvesting place and observe the dirt underneath. A golden or creamy color beneath the fruit shows that it is ripe and ready to be harvested.
If green or white, the fruit has not ripened and should be given ample time before being cut.
Why is My Watermelon White Inside?
A watermelon that is very pale or white inside usually indicates that it is immature or unripe watermelon. It has not yet developed the pigments, specifically lycopene, and beta-carotene, that give a ripe watermelon its traditional red, pink, yellow, or orange hues.
If harvested too early, the fruit won’t have the time to develop its natural sugars and colors, resulting in a bland taste and pale color.
Always check for ripeness indicators like a creamy yellow spot (from where it sat on the ground) and a hollow sound when tapped before choosing a watermelon.
Different Colored Varieties of Watermelon Other Than Pink or Red
Although popularly known for their pink or red flesh, watermelons come in diverse colors with over 300 varaities. Here are some lesser-known colored varieties of watermelon:
These have a sunny yellow flesh. Their taste is usually sweeter and more honeyed than the traditional red watermelon. One popular variety is the ‘Yellow Doll’. Yellow watermelons derive their color from the absence of lycopene, the pigment that gives traditional watermelons their red hue.
With a vibrant orange flesh, these are another delightful variety. Their flavor profile is similar to the red and pink types, but some find them to be slightly tangier. ‘Orange Tendersweet’ is a popular variety in this category.
White or Cream-colored Watermelons:
These are not as common as other varieties. They have a subtle, more delicate flavor compared to their colorful counterparts. An example is the ‘Cream of Saskatchewan’ watermelon.
While this might sound odd since the exterior of most watermelons is green, there are some varieties where even the flesh retains a greenish hue when ripe. They’re rare and offer a sweet taste. they are know as “sugar baby watermelon.”
I hope this answers your query. Watermelons are delicious summer fruits, and they are very healthy for the body as well. Make sure to enjoy lots of these big, juicy fruits. You can make a juice, cut them into cubes, or eat them in some other fun way, but watermelons will surely brighten up your summer season.