Monday, June 14, 2021

Pumpkin seeds and nutrient content

Pumpkin belongs to the genus Cucurbita and family Cucurbitaceae are grown widely around the world as a vegetable. In the USA, they are vastly used for Halloween carvings and thanksgiving feasts. Like other members of Cucurbitaceae, pumpkin fruits bear numerous seeds.

Pumpkin seed is a popular ingredient in snacks sold in retail stores across the country, such as trail mixes with various nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, and is also used as an ingredient in breakfast cereal and bread.

The seed content of pumpkin fruit varies from 3.52% to 4.27%. It has high nutritional value, provides good quality oil, and excellent source of protein and have pharmacological activities such as antidiabetic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiinflammation activities, and antioxidant effects.

Pumpkin seed is a nutritious food with a high oil (50% w/w), moisture 4.06%, crude fiber 2.91%, total lipid 36.70%, and protein (35%) content that varies depending on cultivar. It also contains sugar 1.08%, and starch 2.15%.

The minerals composition of the seed include: nitrogen 5.53%, phosphorus 0.71%, sodium 4.80 Cmol/kg, potassium 20.00 Cmol/kg, Calcium 4.40 Cmol/kg, Magnesium 348.7 ppm, iron 290.0 ppm, coper 70 ppm, zinc 39.9 ppm, and manganese 17.9 ppm.

Palmitic (≤ 15%), stearic (≤ 8%), oleic (≤ 47%), and linoleic (≤ 61%) fatty acids are the main components of the oil. The total phenolic contents of pumpkin seed oil were determined by some investigators that were ranged between 25 to 51mg/kg of pumpkin seed oil. Total phenolic compounds, total sterols, waxes and total tocopherols were 66.25 (mg galic acid per kg oil), 1.86%, 1.56% and 882.65 (mg tocopherol per kg oil) respectively.

Pumpkin seeds have historically been used to produce oil, fortify breads, consumed as a snack or even for medicinal purposes.
Pumpkin seeds and nutrient content

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