A team of researchers at Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta has developed the baby hikapel melon, a new variety of the fruit, about the size of an apple. (SP Photo/Fuska Sani Evani)

Gajah Mada University Creates Apple-Sized Melon


JULY 26, 2019

Jakarta. Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta announced on Friday that it has developed a new variety of melon about the size of an apple, allowing it to be carried more easily.

The new variety, dubbed baby hikapel melon, weighs less than 250 grams, compared with the common melon, which can weigh up to 3 kilograms. 

"This melon has the same characteristics as the South American melon variety. In terms of taste, this melon is very sweet and it has a distinctive scent," said professor Budi S. Daryono, a member of the team that developed the fruit.  

Budi said the new variety was the result of research funded by the Ministry of Finance between 2014 and 2016. It saw the creation of the hikapel melon, characterized by a thin, smooth skin, which makes it smaller, while containing more flesh than the common variety. 

Budi and the team embarked on further research last year to make the fruit even smaller, which resulted in the baby hikapel melon.

"This fruit is rich in nutrients, contains beta-carotene compounds, vitamin C and some minerals," he said.

Budi added that the fruit can be produced without the need for additives to accelerate maturation, while it is also pest resistant. This makes the fruit safer for consumption.

"This melon can be packaged as a souvenir and we hope it will become an icon in the future," he said.