Wine, a fruit-based fermented and non-distilled product, containing most of the nutrients in the raw fruit. Wine production, particularly grape wine, is one of the oldest technologies in the history of man. Other fruits such as pineapple, have been used for wine production. The research was conducted to determine the phytochemical characteristics and consumer acceptability of watermelon wine produced using four commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains (Lalvin EC 1118, Lalvin QA 23, Redstar star rouge and Redstar premier classique). The data obtained on the phytochemical and free radical scavenging activities were analyzed using Tukey Pair Wise comparison at 95% confidence level for statistical difference. Sensory data was translated into means and ranked. The average mean of total phenols ranged in the young wine samples from 93.36 to 105.33 GAEmg/g) and that of the matured samples wine from 156.08 to 275.99 GAEmg/g). Flavonoids was 35.29 to 52.48 and 34.72 to 58.38 in the young and mature wines, respectively. The mean antioxidant activity and antioxidant capacity ranged between 1.28 to 13.59; 79.14 to 246.72 in the young wine samples and that of the matured wine samples 1279.93 to 1914.02 and 808.62 to 2219.37, respectively. Any of the four commercial yeast strains used in this study was suitable for watermelon winemaking. However, it evinced that the Redstar premier classique produced the most desirable sensory attributes, followed by the Lalvin EC 1118 yeast strains
Key words: Sacchromyces cerevisiae, wine, antioxidant, phytochemicals, scavenging activity, watermelon.
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