Aug 25, 2009 | 4
Twenty percent of watermelons never make it to the picnic table. Rather, one in every five is left to ripen and rot in the field, rejected for even the slightest of cosmetic imperfections. But U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers may have found a way to elevate these outcasts to an even higher calling than the summer BBQ: biofuel production.
"As consumers, we would not choose that [misshapen or blemished] watermelon if we were in the supermarket," says Wayne Fish of the USDA's Agriculture Research Service's South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Lane, Okla., and lead author of a paper on the fruity biofuels idea published today in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels. "So the growers won't even pick them."
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