The agricultural and agri-food sector is highly innovative, despite the image it is often given.

In our industry, a lot of research is being done to make food better and better. For example, to make them sweeter, healthier, easier to eat and even more attractive to the consumer because of their colors or sizes.

And not only that, we also seek to make our crops increasingly sustainable, for example, to better withstand a drought situation or to be more resistant to certain pests or diseases.

Seedless watermelon is a great example of this type of innovation. A fruit that has gained great popularity thanks to the convenience of eating it. However, although these watermelons are produced specifically to minimize the presence of seeds, it is common to find some of them in some pieces. Why?

We will try to give you an answer in this article. We will explain how seedless watermelons are produced, we will see why sometimes some seeds appear . We will also tell you about the benefits they offer, especially for the little ones in the house and also in the preparation of recipes.

Watermelon cultivation process

Watermelon in the field. Vicente Peris.

Watermelon, scientifically known as Citrullus lanatus, is a fruit that is available all year round at Peris and is grown in warm climates and well-drained soils. The cultivation process begins with soil preparation, where weeds are removed and nutrients are incorporated to ensure optimal plant growth.

During plant development, we must provide adequate irrigation, control pests and diseases, and ensure that the plant receives sufficient sunlight for healthy development. Once the fruit reaches optimum size and maturity, it is ready to be harvested.

In Spain, and in our specific case, the national watermelon campaign started at the end of April in Almeria, these first pieces are from greenhouses.

At the beginning of June, the first open-grown watermelons arrive, and these are harvested from the fields of Murcia. Naturally, everything depends on the weather, if temperatures are low, plants slow down their growth.

From the last week of July and the rest of the summer, the activity moves to Castilla-La Mancha, where we grow both watermelons and melons of great quality.

The production of seedless watermelons

Watermelon flower in the field. Vicente Peris.

Seedless watermelons are the result of a process of natural selection and genetic improvement. Through years of research and development, with a teamwork of geneticists, agricultural technicians and farmers, watermelon varieties with lower seed content or even seedless have been obtained. These hybridized varieties are carefully selected and crossed to obtain fruits that are more comfortable and pleasant to eat.

Why do seedless watermelons have some seeds?

To produce seedless watermelons, diploid varieties are planted next to triploid varieties, whose flowers are sterile. Pollen from the diploid variety, by means of bees and other insects, passes from one flower to the other, fertilizing the triploid hybrid flower and generating a seedless watermelon. After fertilization, some seeds begin to form, but abort. Depending on the time at which this happens, earlier or later, the seeds reach a larger or smaller size.

In any case, these unripe seeds are usually very small or white and very tender, barely imperceptible in the mouth, which is why these watermelons are called seedless watermelons.

It is also important to note that the presence of some seeds in seedless watermelons is minimal compared to traditional varieties, making them an even more convenient option for consumption. Do you remember what it was like to eat watermelon a few years ago? You spent the whole time removing nuggets from your mouth. Now, the experience is very different, and this is thanks to seedless watermelons.

If you want to know more about the
evolution and history of the seedless watermelon, don’t miss this article.

Benefits of seedless watermelons

Seedless watermelon, the ideal food for children. Vicente Peris, quality fruit.

Seedless watermelons offer several benefits:

  1. Eating convenience: Seedless watermelons are easier and more convenient to enjoy, as there is no need to worry about spitting or removing the seeds while savoring this refreshing fruit.
  2. Ideal fruit for children: since it has no pips, it is easier for children to eat, which is also helped by the sweetness and striking color of this fruit.
  3. Healthy food: Seedless watermelons provide the same vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as traditional varieties, making them a healthy and delicious option to include in our diet.
  4. Ideal for recipes: Being seedless, seedless watermelons are perfect for use as an ingredient in various recipes, such as salads, gazpacho, smoothies, sorbets and cocktails, for example. Here are some recipes
    recipes prepared with watermelon.

In conclusion, seedless watermelons are a prime example of how agri-food has worked to improve the fruit and vegetable consumption experience. Through selection and genetic improvement, watermelons have been produced that are easier to eat, especially for children and those who prefer to enjoy the fruit without worrying about the seeds. And it is clear that its sales continue to grow and it is one of the favorite fruits of our summers. Enjoy it!