Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry




This study demonstrates the viability of sustainably utilizing watermelon rind, a byproduct, by developing intermediate moisture food (IMF) through osmotic dehydration with honey as a sugar substitute. Response surface methodology and an artificial neural network were employed to optimize the process, and enhanced solid gain and water loss were achieved. The findings revealed that temperature exerted the most significant influence, followed by the solution-to-rind ratio, immersion time, and osmotic solution concentration, impacting water loss and solid gain in the IMF product. The optimized parameters for maximum water loss and solute gain were a temperature range of 330.15–331.15 K, immersion time of 11,040–11,100 s, honey concentration of 14%–15% (weight/ weight), and rind-to-solution ratio of 2–3. Significant changes in the physicochemical properties of the IMF product compared to fresh rind were observed, including a substantial increase in carbohydrate contents from 3.21% to 63.6%, a pH reduction from 5.1 to 4.6, and an enhancement in antioxidant activity from 32% to 37%. Texture analysis revealed improvements in the IMF product, with a decrease in skin strength from 8.47 to 6.85 g and a reduction in elasticity from 2.5 to 2 mm. Scanning electron microscopy images demonstrated that fresh rind cells had a rigid structure with small pores, whereas in the IMF product, cell porosity increased and cells bulged due to osmotic dehydration. The Fourier-transform infrared spectrum revealed the presence of additional secondary, tertiary, anhydride, and amide groups in the IMF, attributed to honey’s involvement.


Watermelon rind, osmotic dehydration, artificial neural network, food waste utilization

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