The commercial oil of the seeds of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) has been investigated. The oil is a common product in Slovenia, Hungary and Austria and is considered for its health promoting properties. Therefore, the pumpkin seed oil is considered a preventing agent for different pathologies, particularly for prostate diseases. These properties are related to the carotenoids and liposoluble vitamins high content. The carotenoids (lutein and zeaxantine), vitamin E (α-tocopherol) and fatty acids content has been investigated. Furthermore, the composition of the volatile fraction due to roasting process has been investigated. The preliminary extraction of volatile compounds was obtained by dynamic headspace, while the analyses were performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The results of this study show that the aromatic profile obtained from the commercial analyzed samples is directly related to the intensity of the roasting process of the crushed pumpkin seeds: the temperature of the roasting process plays a crucial role on the concentration of volatiles substances, originated from Strecker degradation, lipid peroxidation and Maillard reaction. Therefore, high temperature roasting processes lead to the production of an oil with intense aromatic characteristics, while mild conditions, generally employed to obtain an oil with professed therapeutic characteristics, would lead to a product with minor characteristics pumpkin seed oil aroma. The nutraceutic properties of the product are confirmed by the high content in a-tocoferol and carotenoids: in particular, the content in lutein and zeaxanthin is one order of magnitude higher to the virgin olive oil.

Chemical composition and functional characterization of commercial pumpkin seed oil

PROCIDA, GIUSEPPE;STANCHER, BRUNO;CATENI, FRANCESCA;ZACCHIGNA, MARINA
2012

Abstract

The commercial oil of the seeds of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) has been investigated. The oil is a common product in Slovenia, Hungary and Austria and is considered for its health promoting properties. Therefore, the pumpkin seed oil is considered a preventing agent for different pathologies, particularly for prostate diseases. These properties are related to the carotenoids and liposoluble vitamins high content. The carotenoids (lutein and zeaxantine), vitamin E (α-tocopherol) and fatty acids content has been investigated. Furthermore, the composition of the volatile fraction due to roasting process has been investigated. The preliminary extraction of volatile compounds was obtained by dynamic headspace, while the analyses were performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The results of this study show that the aromatic profile obtained from the commercial analyzed samples is directly related to the intensity of the roasting process of the crushed pumpkin seeds: the temperature of the roasting process plays a crucial role on the concentration of volatiles substances, originated from Strecker degradation, lipid peroxidation and Maillard reaction. Therefore, high temperature roasting processes lead to the production of an oil with intense aromatic characteristics, while mild conditions, generally employed to obtain an oil with professed therapeutic characteristics, would lead to a product with minor characteristics pumpkin seed oil aroma. The nutraceutic properties of the product are confirmed by the high content in a-tocoferol and carotenoids: in particular, the content in lutein and zeaxanthin is one order of magnitude higher to the virgin olive oil.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2831838
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