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Today I had a slice of watermelon and when I reached the outer parts of the pulp I wondered why those are less sweet.

Whether or not the sugar occurs in crystalline form in watermelons is still an open question, but a quick search on the internet did not yield acceptably thorough answers.

The options I found are as follows (in descending order of personal preference):

  1. Watermelons ripen from the center outwards.

    If this is the case, then watermelons wouldn't grow during the ripening, right? So they would need to achieve their final size before the ripening sets in. Or maybe it's the other way around: They ripen as they grow, and as such the center has the highest concentration of sugar.

  2. The sugar is needed by the new seedlings to grow. (Although I think this hypothesis has been disproven with apples.)

Has any of this been proven, has there been research done on this matter?

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  • $\begingroup$ I think the cells are smaller in the center, so higher concentration of everything but water. The outside cells have a lot more space and are more watery without so much sugar, etc. $\endgroup$ – J. Musser Jan 29 '15 at 3:54

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