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Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.) due to its unusual and extravagant characters is considered as the marvels of vegetable world. Among cucurbitaceous vegetables, pumpkin has been appreciated for high yields, long storage life and high nutritive value. In India, pumpkin is grown under a wide range of agro-climatic conditions, both for immature and mature fruits. Pumpkin fruits are sweet when ripe with yellow or orange flesh rich in β-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. Pumpkin is a rich source of functional food components like vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. Pumpkin can profitably be converted into a variety of value added products such as jam, jelly, marmalade, candy, puree, sauce, chutney, pickle and halwa. Pumpkin flour could be used to supplement cereal flours in bakery products, soups, instant noodles and natural colouring agent in pasta and flour mixes. Pumpkin seeds, generally thrown away are otherwise, a rich source of oil and nutrients and could be consumed as food. The seed flour is used as a protein supplement in bread and cookies. Pumpkin seeds have many health benefits due to lower cholesterol and antidepressant qualities.
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411
Functional constituents and processing of pumpkin: A review
Anju K Dhiman1*, Sharma KD2, Surekha Attri2
1Directorate of Extension Education; 2Department of Post-harvest Technology,
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173 230, India
*Email:dhimananju@yahoo.com
Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.) due to its unusual and extravagant characters is considered as the marvels of vegetable
world. Among cucurbitaceous vegetables, pumpkin has been appreciated for high yields, long storage life and high
nutritive value. In India, pumpkin is grown under a wide range of agro-climatic conditions, both for immature and
mature fruits. Pumpkin fruits are sweet when ripe with yellow or orange flesh rich in β-carotene, a precursor of vitamin
A. Pumpkin is a rich source of functional food components like vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. Pumpkin can
profitably be converted into a variety of value added products such as jam, jelly, marmalade, candy, puree, sauce,
chutney, pickle and halwa. Pumpkin flour could be used to supplement cereal flours in bakery products, soups, instant
noodles and natural colouring agent in pasta and flour mixes. Pumpkin seeds, generally thrown away are otherwise,
a rich source of oil and nutrients and could be consumed as food. The seed flour is used as a protein supplement
in bread and cookies. Pumpkin seeds have many health benefits due to lower cholesterol and antidepressant qualities.
Keywords: Pumpkin, Functional food, Value addition, Oil, Supplementation,Processing
J Food Sci Technol 2009, 46(5), 411-417
Pumpkin belongs to the family
Cucurbitaceae and is a widely grown
vegetable all over the world. Based on
the colour of the seeds, the origin of
pumpkin has been attributed to Guetmala,
Central Mexico or Columbia. The name
pumpkin originated from a Greek word
Pepon which means large melon. French
converted the Pepon to Pompon and
English adapted the word Pompion. In
the stages of development, the American
colonists replaced the ion with kin giving
rise to pumpkin (Anon 2008c). Pumpkin
is composed of Cucurbita moschata,
Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima,
Cucúrbita mixta, Cucurbita facifola and
Telfairia occidentalis (Caili et al 2006).
Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima and
Cucurbita moschata are the worldwide
commonly grown species of pumpkin (Lee
et al 2003). These represent economically
impo rtant spec ies and ha ve high
production (Caili et al 2006) while fluted
pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) which
is a tropical vine is a delicacy in parts
of West Africa particularly in South
Nigeria and also widely grown in Ghana
and Sierra Leone particularly for its tender
leaves, stem and seeds. In Nigeria, fluted
pumpkin is primarily grown as leafy
vege table and is used for human
consumption. Large number of pumpkin
varieties varying in shape, size and colour
of flesh are available. The miniature
pumpkins are C. pepo (var. ‘Jack-O-
Lantern’) and the giant type (var. ‘Boston
Marrow’ and Mammoth’) tend to be
C. maxima varieties. Buff coloured ‘Sugar
Pie’ or Dickinson and ‘K entucky’
varieties; Bucksk in’ and Ch elsey
hybrids of C. moschata are excellent fruits
for processing. C. moschata is a leading
crop cultivated since pre-historic time
and currently most common variety of
pumpkin in Asia and the United States
of America. C. moschata is grown in
almost all the regions of India (Nath et
al 1979) while C. maxima mostly grown
in the hills and subtropical regions. The
main growing season is summer and rainy
seasons in most parts of India. Winter
pumpkins are also grown in some parts
of Southern and Western India (Seshadri
1989). The production statistics (Table
1) reveal that India is one of the leading
producers of pumpkin in the world (Anon
2008a).
Physical and chemical properties of
pumpkin
There is a large variation in the size
and shape of pumpkin fruits and the
average fruit weight fluctuates between 8
and 10 kg; sometimes even up to 20 kg
have been noticed (Seshadri 1989). The
fruits of th e tropical vine Telfairia
occidentalis are large growing more than
10 kg on ful l ma turity with 10
longitudinal ribs on the outside. The
medium sized fruits of variety ‘Arka
Chandan’ is 2-3 kg while that of ‘Pusa
Vishwas’ produces fruits of about 5 kg
(Sirohi et al 1991). The colour of flesh
ranges from pale yellow to crimson and
flesh thickness often varies widely. ‘Arka
Chandan’ a variety of C. moschata has
medium size fruit, good cooking quality
and bright orange flesh colour and is
nutritionally superior to local strains
(Gupta and Srinivas 1979). Pawar et al
(1985) has reported that the pumpkin
fruits contain 77.5% edible portion. The
edible portion in ‘Butternut’, ‘Golden
Nugget’ and ‘Queensland Blue’ varieties
of pumpkin has been 86, 70 and 85%,
respectively (Wills et al 1987). The
different physical characteristics of ripe
pumpkin have been studied by Dhiman
et al (2007).
Pump kin frui ts are rich in
carote noids, vitamin s, mine rals an d
dietary fibers (Djutin 1991). The β-
carotene content of pumpkin fruits varies
from 1.6 to 45.6 mg/100 g (Danilchenko
et al 2000) and 2.8 to 3.4 mg/100 g
Table 1. Production of pumpkin in different
countries
Country Production, Area, Yield,
Tons ha H/ha
India 3500000 360000 97222
China 6315000 328000 192530
USA 864180 39500 218780
Germany 83100 2200 377727
Japan 237000 17000 139412
Spain 315000 7500 420000
South Africa 95000 12000 79166
Pakistan 255000 26000 98076
Mexico 17000 5500 212727
Columbia 60000 3650 164384
H: Hectoram; Source: Anon (2008a)
412
(Wills 1987) has been reported. Indian
cultivars of pumpkin have 132 to 527
mg/100 g (on dry weight basis) of β-
carotene content (Gopalakrishnan et al
1980). The β-carotene in fresh leaves of
fluted pumpkin is 98.9 mg/100 g (Badifu
et al 1995).
Organically grown pumpkin fruits
accumulate higher amount of β-carotene
(0.4 mg/100 g) and vitamin E (0.5 mg/
100 g) as compared to conventionally
grown fruits where higher content of
dietary fibre (2.1%) and ascorbic acid
(5.2 mg/100 g) have been documented
(Danilchenko et al 2003). The total
carotenoids content in Spanish pumpkin
has been higher than that of β-carotene
in carrots (Wu and Jin 1998). Depending
upon the variety, pumpkin contains 85-
90% water, 70-86% edible portion, 2.0-
2.1% protein, 0.3-0.6% fat, 1.4-3.5%
starch, 1.1-2.7% dietary fiber, 179-190
kJ of energy and 8-27 mg vitamin C/100
g of edible portion (Wills 1987). Fresh
pumpkin contains 92.2% moisture, 0.15%
fat, 0.98% protein, 0.76% ash, 0.56%
crude fiber and 5.3% carbohydrates (See
et al 2007). The organic acid content of
C. moschata and C. maxima has been
repo rted to be 9.5 and 6. 7 mil li
equivalent/100 g, respectively (Hidaka et
al 1976). The proximate analysis of
pumpkin flesh (Sharma and Kumar 1995)
revealed that it contains protein (1.4 %),
fat (0.1%), carbohydrate (4.6%), Ca (10
mg/100 g), P (30 mg/100 g) and Fe (0.7
mg/100 g). Pulp of pumpkin is rich in
Na, K, Fe, Mn, P and pectin but low in
proteins (Egbekun et al 1998). The
physical and chemical characteristics of
pumpkin are given in Table 2. A wide
variation in the chemical composition of
pumpkin varieties has been reported by
various workers (Aykroyd 1963, Sharma
et al 1979, Tindall 1986, Eades 1994,
Dani lchen ko et al 2000) . Valuab le
nutritional components of pumpkin and
other vegetables all in a biologically active
state of maturity combine well with apple
or plum juice (Mordkovich et al 1971).
Pumpkin seeds as a source of oil and
nutrients
Pumpkin seeds also known as Pepitas
are small, flat, green and edible with a
chewy texture and having rich nutty
flavour. Most pumpkin seeds are covered
by a white husk however, some varieties
may produce seeds without husk. The
seeds of pumpkin representing 3.1% of
total pumpkin fruit weight are rich in
protein (33%), high in S containing amino
acids and low in phytic acids and trypsin
inhibitor (Samaha 2002). Seeds contain
Mg and Fe in addition to high levels of
Zn, P, K, Se, Mn and Cu. Analysis of
‘Lady Godiva’ variety indicated that <400
g of pumpkin seeds could supply the
tota l daily protein and minera l
requirements other than Ca and Na for
an adult pe rso n (Robinso n 1975).
Pumpkin seed oil has high amount of
free fatty acids content with predominant
being palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic
acids (Murkovic et al 1996, Nakic et al
2006). According to Longe et al (1983)
the predominant fatty acids in pumpkin
are linoleic and oleic while amino acids
in abundance include glutamic acid,
arginine and aspartic acid. Kamel et al
(2007) reported that the linoleic acid is
the major fatty acid in pumpkin seed oil.
Seeds are also a rich source of phytosterols
whose chemical structure is similar to
cholesterol. Lipid fraction from pumpkin
seed oil contains about 96% neutral lipids,
free fatty acids being the major component
(Yoon et al 1983). The seeds are a good
source of B-complex vitamins (Mansour
et al 1993). Kamel et al (2007) has
suggested that the seeds of pumpkin could
be u tiliz ed as a so urce of pr otein
concentrates for human consumption.
Seve ral worke rs hav e repo rted t he
nutritional composition, chemical chara-
cterization and functional properties of
fluted pumpkin seeds (Joshi et al 1993,
Badifu et al 1995, Paksoy and Aydin
2004, Fagbemi et al 2005, Ganiyu 2005,
Fasuyi 2006).
Pum pkin seeds a t 13.2% initia l
moisture content yield about 62% of oil
(Joshi et al 1992). The oil recovery of
seeds of C. pepo in India is 30-35%
(Anon 1950). The percentage of oil in 4
cucu rbit kern els viz ., waterm elon,
muskmelon, pumpkin and cucumber is
same as for mustard and sesame seeds,
all 6 ranging between 46 and 50% (Dutta
and Lal 1977). The pumpkin seed oil has
dark green colour (Murkovic et al 1996).
Pumpkin oil obtained by cold pressing is
gree nish in col our w ith a slight
influorescence while, hot pressed oil is
dark red and is fluorescent to a marked
degree. The cold drawn oil is used for
edible purpose, whereas lower grades
serve as burning oil. In general, cucurbits
oil is known to be of good quality and
relatively suitable for edible purpose
(Evangelos 1986). According to Samaha
(2002), the pumpkin seeds are a rich
source of oil (47.3%) and if properly
exploited could add to the national oil
production. Stevenson et al (2007) showed
that the pumpkin seed oil has high
oxidative stability and is suitable for food
and industrial applications, as well as
high unsaturation and tocopherol content
that cou ld p otent ial ly i mprov e th e
nutrition of human diets.
J Food Sci Technol 2009, 46(5), 411-417
Table 2. Physical and chemical characteris-
tics of ripe pumpkin
Physical*
Weight, g 3730.0±67.71
Length, cm 32.6±2.32
Diameter, cm 69.1±2.05
Colour YGY
Pulp recovery, % 76.7±0.006
Pulp:Skin:Seed 23:6:1
Firmness, lb/in221.3±0.11
Seed oil recovery, % 35.7±0.003
Moisture, % 6.2±0.07
TSS, oB 9.2±0.06
Total sugars, % 3.9±0.01
Reducing sugars, % 2.1±0.02
Titratable acidity, % 0.07±0.003
pH 4.5±0.003
β-Carotene, mg/100 g 11.2±0.007
Ascorbic acid, mg/100 g 14.5±0.03
Pectin, % 1.2±0.01
Fibre, % 0.66±0.003
Ash, % 0.52±0.003
Minerals**, mg/100 g edible portion
Ca 10
P 30
Fe 0.44
Mg 38
Na 5.6
K 139
Cu 0.05
Mn 0.05
Zn 0.26
S 16
Cl 4
(n = 4), YGY: Yellow to golden yellow,
*Dhiman et al (2007), **Gopalan et al (1996)
413
Functional food properties of pumpkin
Pumpkin is a valuable source of
functional components mainly carote-
noids, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E,
ascorbic acid, phytosterols, selenium, and
lenoleic acid, which act as antioxidants
in human nutrition. Pumpkin fruits are
sweet when fully mature with yellow or
orange flesh rich in carotene (Sirohi et
al 1991). Pumpkin flesh is rich in fibre,
vitamin C, vitamin E, Mg, K and a
variety of carotenoids being the important
sources of these amazing phytonutrients.
β-Carotene is one of the plant carotenoids
converted to vitamin A in the body. In
the conversion of vitamin A, β-carotene
performs many functions in overall health.
It works most efficiently in combination
with other carotenoids and has been found
to reduce the risk of lung and colon
canc er. Pumpkin als o has huge
concentration of β-carotene which protect
against certain cancers and cataract and
is a powerful ally against degeneration
aspe ct of agi ng. Pum pkin has n o
cholesterol, low in fat and sodium and
rich in vitamins. Carotenoids are the
primary source of vitamin A for most of
the people living in the developing
countries (Boileau et al 1999) where
vitamin A deficiency is still common
(Chakravarty 2000). Carotenoids are
important for the prophylactic treatment
of xeropt halmi a (Simp son 1 983).
Deficiency of vitamin A leads to impaired
cellular functioning since it has a role in
numerous physiological processes in
animals (Machlin 1984). Carotenoids
derived from plant foods are the chief
sources of vitamin A in the diet of many
population groups in India (Murthy et al
1993). Carotenoids are said to have a
variety of accessions which are related to
the decreased risk of some degenerative
diseases (Anon 2000) and also act as
antioxidant (Krimsky 1989). It is believed
that β-carotene has a protective role
against cancers (Halter 1989, Danilchenko
et al 2000) and coronary heart diseases
(Cindy et al 1992). The presence of Mg,
K and folate in pumpkin highlights its
heart friendly attributes. As the amounts
of organic acids and cellular tissues are
not h igh in pum pkin t hey ca n be
consumed to cure stomach and intestinal
disorders. Danilchenko et al (2000) has
recommended pumpkin for atherosclerosis
as it helps to reduce cholesterol in people
suffering from obesity. Leafy vegetables
(Telfairia occidentalis and Cruciferae
acontifolus) contain antioxidants which
are very useful in preventing lever damage
and maintaining a healthy lever (Ganiyu
2006).
The fruits of pumpkin are diuretic,
tonic and calm thirst. The pulp of fruit
is considered as sedative, emollient and
refrigerant (Kiritikar and Basu 1975).
Gwanama et al (2002) analysed the
extracts from mature fruits of 15 land
races for their β-carotene content and its
possible use in combating eye diseases
and prospects for breeding high carotene
cultivars. Pumpkin plants have also been
used against diabetes mellitus as they are
beli eved to exhi bit hy pog lycem ic
properties (Jiawei et al 2003). Pumpkin
seeds have many health benefits as they
are said to be lower in cholesterol and
has antidepressant qualities due to the
presence of tryptophan which can elevate
mood. Pumpkin seeds in China are
regarded as a remedy for depression. One
g of pumpkin seed protein contains as
much of tryptophan as a full glass of
milk. Seeds also contain Omega-3 and
Omega-6 essential fatty acids (Murkovic
et al 1996, Anon 2008c) and have a
broad range of health functions in the
body . The see ds of pum pkin are
anthelmintic and useful as taenicide. Its
oil is used in giving quick relief in
scalding of urine, spasmodic infection of
the urinary passage and has been reported
to cure gonorrhea (Anon 1950). Pumpkin
seeds provide high phosphorous levels
and can be used as a potential agent in
lowering the risk of bladder stone disease
(Suphakarn et al 1987). Though the seeds
of pumpkin are nutritionally important
and have medicinal value however, they
are thro wn away (Samba and
Subramaniyam 1989). Pumpkin seeds also
contain cucurbitacins which rid the body
off intestinal parasites and are also
traditional remedy for tape worm (Younis
et al 2000) and safe for children and
pregnant woman. Studies have shown
that pumpkin seeds may reduce hormonal
damage to prostrate cells, thus probably
reducing the risk of prostrate cancer. Its
seeds have also been used to treat learning
disorders and are considered to be useful
in gastritis, enteritis and febrile diseases.
The seeds have ant i-inf lamma tory
properties which help in the treatment of
arthritis. Pumpkin seed oil is useful in
promoting wellness in HIV/AIDS patients
(Zimmerman 1997).
Processing of pumpkin
Pumpkin is considered to be one of
the important vegetable crops where
immature and mature fruits, tender leaves
and flowers are processed in one or the
other form (Choudhury 1967). The fresh
leaves are green and used as vegetable.
The leaves are also used for preparing
the cassava salads, plantain porridge and
yam pottage (Badifu et al 1995). Besides,
being nutritionally rich, the fruits are
considered to be good for health. The
pumpkin is a part of diet in almost every
country of the world due to its good taste.
Pumpkins are consumed in a variety of
ways such as fresh or cooked, as well as
being stored, frozen or canned (Figueredo
et al 2000). Pumpkin should have a hard
rind and mature pulp of ideal quality for
cooking flesh. The ripe pumpkin can be
boiled, baked, steamed or roasted and the
seeds are used as a popular snack item.
In Canada and America it is converted
into various kinds of pie which is their
staple food. Immature green pumpkin
may be eaten in the same way as the
vegetable. These can also be eaten mashed
or added into the soups. In Middle East,
pumpkin is used for the preparation of
sweet dish called halwa yaqtin. In South
Asian countries, pumpkin is converted
into sweet dish called kaddu ka halwa
eaten duri ng f as ting as a delicacy.
Pumpkin can also be used to flavour
alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
(Anon 2008c).
All types of pumpkins have hard
shells when they are mature. Texture
profile and rupture tests carried out on
raw and cooked tissues of different
pumpkin cultivars during storage showed
that ‘Red Warren’ cultivar had least firm
tiss ues w ith h igh r igidi ty an d low
compressibility and had no significant
differences in texture parameters up to 2
months of storage (Ratnayake et al 2004).
Freezing deteriorates the texture but
pumpkin kept in dark and at 4oC had
firmer texture. The β-carotene content
J Food Sci Technol 2009, 46(5), 411-417
414
increases on maturation a nd during
storage it decreases at all temperatures
(Dutta et al 2006). Mesocarp of Cucurbita
mosc hata h as reheologi cally bee n
characterized by a large and small
deformations after step wise adjustment
of its turgor pressure to determine the
relative contribution of turgor pressure,
cell wall and middle lamella to the
mechanical behaviour. Plasmolysed tissue
did not show a residual force at infinite
time of relaxation. Incipient plasmolysis
has better been detected by rheological
studies than by volume change and has
been confirmed by light microscopy
(Escalada Pla et al 2006). Mechanical
properties analysis of three common
varieties of pumpkin viz., ‘Jarrahdale’,
‘Jap’ and ‘Butternut’ showed that varieties
are statistically alike in rupture, force,
toughness and maximum shear strength
force of unpeeled fruits. Also the skin of
these varieties showed similar strength
in shear (Emadi et al 2005). Peeling of
ripe pumpkin is difficult therefore, a
method for peeling of pumpkins has been
developed and patented and the machine
includes endless conveyors on which the
pumpkins are placed and cut into halves
with the pulp facing downwards (Kunz
1978). A novel peeling process (Emadi et
al 2008b) has been modeled by using
abrasive cutter brush (Emadi et al
2008a). The optimum results revealed
peeling of 18.6% min and 20% min for
concave and convex areas, respectively at
0.18% min peel losses. Abrasive peeling
method developed by Emadi et al (2007)
can be used to evenly peel the varieties
of pumpkin with uneven surface i.e.
‘Jarrahdale’ and ‘Jap’. Pumpkin flesh
can be preserved by canning, drying,
freezing and it also makes excellent
preserves. For canning cubed pumpkin,
only pressu re cann ing met hod is
reco mmend ed (Tab le 3). Freezing
provides easiest way to preserve pumpkin
and it yields the best quality product.
Pumpkin makes excellent dried vegetable
leather, relishes and chutneys (Anon
2002).
Value added products from pumpkin
Process for converting pumpkin meat
into a flavoured sweet and sour pickle
product has been patented. The process
includes chilling the pumpkin in brine
with ice at 4.4-7.2oC for 5 h to achieve
crispness and subsequently combining
with sugar, vinegar and spices (Laping
1972). Pickles of improved colour, texture
and flavour are produced in a process in
which the vegetables are first washed in
aqueous solution containing sodium
sulphate or sodium chloride, an inorganic
salt such as polyphosphate, calcium
chloride or calcium carbonate and a
sorbitan-poly oxyethylene sorbitan or
sucrose fatty acid ester (Anon 1973).
Pickle of excellent quality from ripe C.
moschata for commercial processing has
been developed by Dhiman et al (2007).
The marmalade prepared from fluted
pump kin fruit has no sig nific ant
differences in sensory attributes like taste,
consistency, spreadability and overall
acce ptabi lity when compa red wi th
commercial orange marmalade (Egbekun
et a l 1998) . Pec tin e xtrac ted f rom
pumpkin and then modified using an
enzyme could offer as an alternative for
jam and confectionary (Ptichkina et al
2008). Jam made from pumpkin with
different combinations of apple and
quince has been compared by Danilchenko
et al (2000). The varieties ‘Vegetable
Spaghetti’ and ‘Yellow Crookneck’ are
more suitable whereas, ‘Buttercup’ had
the highest nutritional quality and ‘Jack
O’Lantern’ shows the best technological
characteristics. Jam prepared from fresh
pulp without pectin addition has yellow
colour, elastic gel texture and flat flavour
and is well accepted by panelists (Samaha
2002). The addition of pumpkin paste in
jellies prepared from carrageenan, agar
and gelatin helps to increase dynamic
viscoelasticities, melting temperature and
suppression of syneresises. The younger
panelists liked the jelly prepared with
carrageenan more tasteful while the elder
panelists were unable to record much
difference among three kinds of jellies
(Yoshimura et al 1994).
Ketchup prepared from pumpkin has
been rated as above average (scored 2) in
comparison with tomato which scored
3.2 (Sharma and Kumar 1995). Pumpkin
is canned as puree. The recipe and
optimum conditions for the development
of instant pumpkin kofta have been
standardized (Teotia et al 2004). Non-
signi ficant difference in the quality
characteristics were noticed in the samples
dehydrated in a cross flow drier and in
flow drier. Dehydration of well matured
pumpkin fruits suggests that leaching
losses of ascorbic acid, total carotenoids,
reducing sugars and ash content are more
in shreds dried under sun than in cabinet
and sulphited samples (Pawar et al 1985).
Pumpkin halwa serves as a concentrated
source of nutrients and calories and is
ideally suitable for troops deployed at
high a ltitu des. Howeve r, t he mai n
problem of commercial marketing of
halwa is its short life of 5-10 days.
Pumpkin halwa has a shelf-life of 2
months in polypropylene pouches and six
months in laminate pouches (Premavalli
et al 1991). Pawar et al (1985) have
suggested that the halwa prepared from
rehy drate d pumpki n shr eds i s wel l
acceptable to taste panelists. The recipe
for the preparation of pumpkin halwa
has also been developed by Sharma and
Kumar (1995). The development of value
added products from fluted pumpkin seeds
have been recommended as a way to
increase the opportunity to expand its
utilization in the tropics (Giami and
Bekebain 1992, Giami and Isichei 1999).
Pumpkin seeds normally discarded as
industrial solid waste can be converted to
snack rich in fiber, unsaturated lipids,
minerals and proteins (Caramez et al
2008).
J Food Sci Technol 2009, 46(5), 411-417
Table 3. Recommended process time for pumpkin and winter squash in a weighted-gauge
pressure canner and dial-gauge pressure canner
Pack Jar Processing Canner pressure (lb/psi) at different altitudes
style size time, min Weighted-gauge Dial-gauge, ft
A B C D E F
Hot Pints 55 10 15 11 12 13 14 Hot
Quarts 90 10 15 11 12 13 14
A: 0-1000 ft, B: > 1000 ft, C: 0-2000 ft, D: 2001-4000 ft, E: 4001-6000 ft, F: 6001-8000
ft, Source: Anon (2008b)
415
Supplementation of pumpkin with
cereal bakery products
Addition of 10% boiled pumpkin
pulp results in improving the quality of
bread and reduces staling (Popeseu et al
1972). Pumpkin fruits are processed into
flour having extended shelf-life, highly
desirable flavour, sweetness and deep
yellow-orange colour. Fruits are used to
supp lement cerea l flours in ba kery
products for soups, sauce, instant noodles
and spice as well as natural colouring
agent in pasta and flour mixes. The yellow
colour of the powder can be used as
natural colourant (See et al 2007). One
potential food application for fluted
pumpkin seed flour is its use in composite
flours for the production of bread and
cookies. Efforts have been made to
promote the use of composite flours in
which flour from locally grown high
protein oil seeds and legumes replace a
portion of wheat flour for production of
high protein composite bakery products
(Ano n 198 5). Supp lemen tatio n of
pumpkin flour improves the nutritional
quality of bread (Ptitchkina et al 1998).
Fluted pumpkin seed flour has been used
as a protein supplement in a variety of
local foods (Giami and Bekebain 1992).
The seeds of fluted pumpkin (Telfairia
occidentalis) contain 13% oil (Okoli and
Nyanayo 1988) and is used for cooking
(Horsfal and Spiff 2005) marmalade
manufacturing (Egbekun et al 1998) and
cookies formulations (Giami and Barber
2004, Giami et al 2005). Supplementation
of co okies with c oncen trate from
germinated seeds of fluted pumpkin at
15-20% level is nutritionally comparable
to diets based on casein (Giami and
Barber 2004). Protein digestibility under
in vitro studies improved with addition
of pumpkin seed protein (EI-Soukkary
2001). Fermentation and germination
improve the protein quality while boiling
and roasting reduce the anti-nutritional
factors of fluted pumpkin seed and
improve some of its nutrients (Fagbemi
2007). Pumpkin seeds are a rich source
of nutrients therefore, can be consumed
as food or as supplementary ingredients.
Roasting of pumpkin seeds significantly
reduces tannin and phytic acid contents
with a concomitant improvement in
dige stibi lit y. Ro astin g sig nificant ly
improves total and extractable minerals
as well as physico-chemical properties of
the seed flour (Hamed et al 2008). Fluted
pumpkin seeds oil has high iodine value
which indicates that oil has high content
of unsaturated fatty acids, thus it may be
used as edi ble oi l f or coo king o r
manufacturing of margarine. The low
acid value of oil also indicates that the
oil is edible (Agatemor 2006). Fluted
pumpkin seeds are cooked and used as
an ingredient or protein supplement in a
variety of local foods (Achinewhu 1987).
Conclusion
Importance of fruits and vegetables
in human diet is universally recognized.
Fruits and vegetables both fresh and
processed contribute significantly to
improve the quality of our diet. In recent
years, the interest in the exploration,
development and evaluation of functional
food s to the t arget po pulat ion h as
increa sed con siderab ly amon gst the
researchers and technologist. Scientists
are exploring the ignored crops which
are ot herwise a ri ch source of
phytochemicals of human interest for
combating the deadly diseases like cancer
and cardio vascular disease. Pumpkin is
one of such vegetables gaining popularity
as its tec hnolo gical and n utritio nal
characteristics are equal or even better
than those of widely cultivated vegetables
and fruits. Al though, pumpkins are
utilized for the preparation of various
value added products like pies, freeze,
canned, dried and pickled products in
foreign countries however, in India they
are mostly consumed as fresh vegetable
with exception of its use in vegetable
sauce where the pumpkin is being added
as a thickening agent. The pumpkin has
a vast scope for diversification and
exploring its utilization into commercial
products like jam, pickle, beverages,
candy, seed oil, bakery and confectionery
products. Moreover, pumpkin is a rich
source of β-carotene and can also be
util ized i n combina tion w ith other
vegetabl es and frui ts t o enrich the
nutritional properties of such products.
Since, pumpkin is produced in bulk in
Indi a e speci ally in rur al are as the
processing of fruit into various products
could commercially be explored so that
they are made available to the common
masses.
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Received 27 August 2008; revised 23 March 2009; accepted 26 March 2009
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Pumpkin powder, introduced initially as a nutritional supplement, has been found to give very large, unexpected, increases in the loaf volume and organoleptic acceptability of wheat bread produced using flour samples with comparatively poor breadmaking properties. Maximum effectiveness occurs at low levels of addition, where the nutritional benefit would be marginal, but the improvement in quality is massive, suggesting a possible role for pumpkin powder as a functional ingredient in breadmaking. Two hard wheat red Winter flours (denoted as samples F1 and F2) were used. The gluten networks formed by these samples were found to be respectively weaker and stronger than the optimum range for breadmaking, giving breads with relatively low specific volumes (∼3.8ml/g for F1 and ∼3.2ml/g for F2) and with low hedonic ratings from a sensory panel. Progressive addition of pumpkin powder gave an initial rise and subsequent decrease in loaf volume. The maximum values attained were higher for F1 than for F2 (∼5.6 and 4.2ml/g, respectively), but in both cases occurred at levels of addition between 5 and 10g/kg flour. Panel scores for organoleptic acceptability increased systematically with increasing loaf volume, reaching a value close to the maximum of the 5-point hedonic scale used at specific volumes above ∼4.3ml/g. The increase in aeration is tentatively attributed to surface activity of the highly acetylated pectin present as a major component (∼30% of the total dry-matter content) of pumpkin tissue.