Korean scientists extract anticarcinogen from watermelons

Korean scientists said that they have successfully extracted lycopene agents from watermelons that may be used to treat cancer and fight aging. The team led by Kim Cheol-jin, a researcher at the state-run Korea Food Research Institute (KFRI), said that the level of lycopene content extracted from watermelons by the new method is much higher than that being extracted from tomatoes.

Lycopenes are the natural reddish coloring found in fruits and vegetables, which have been shown to be effective against various types of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and can also slow down the aging process. The KFRI said that the current method, employed by a handful of foreign laboratories and companies, can produce lycopene levels of 1-15 percent, while its own method reaches 80 percent.

It then said that they not only extracted higher quality materials from the fruit, but also developed ways to use it in food and medicine. He claimed that while past lycopene agents could only be dissolved in oil, the new process produces water soluble agents, thereby increasing their application. The current global market for the material stands at around $40 million, with none being produced in Korea. Kim said the new discovery is expected to quickly replace conventional manufacturing processes for the agent.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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