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Pumpkin the Functional and therapeutic ingredient: A review


Pumpkin is regarded as valuable vegetables primarily because of the high carotenoid content, the low energetic value, high in carbohydrates and minerals. Consumption of pumpkin helps to prevent skin diseases, eye disorders reducing cell damage in the body, cancer and improve immune function. Pumpkin contains biologically active components that include polysaccharides, para-aminobenzoic acid, fixed oils, sterol, proteins and peptides. Its popular medicinal uses are as antidiabetic, antihypertension, antitumor, immunomodulation, antibacterial, anti-hypercholesterolemia, intestinal antiparasitia and anti-inflammation as reported by different researchers. The Pumpkin seed is excellent source of protein and also has pharmacological activities such as anti-diabetic, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammation activities and antioxidant effects. It has obtained considerable attention in recent years because of the nutritional and health protective values of the seeds. The antimicrobial activity of pumpkin has many applications, including preservation, pharmaceuticals, alternative medicine and natural therapies.
International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition
International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition
ISSN: 2455-4898
Impact Factor: RJIF 5.14
Volume X; Issue X; November XXXX; Page No. XX-XX
Pumpkin the Functional and therapeutic ingredient: A review
1 Aamir Hussain Dar, *2 S A Sofi, 3 Shafiya rafiq
1 Department of Food Technology, IUST, Awantipora, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2, 3 Division of Food Science and Technology, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Pumpkin is regarded as valuable vegetables primarily because of the high carotenoid content, the low energetic value, high in
carbohydrates and minerals. Consumption of pumpkin helps to prevent skin diseases, eye disorders reducing cell damage in the
body, cancer and improve immune function. Pumpkin contains biologically active components that include polysaccharides, para-
aminobenzoic acid, fixed oils, sterol, proteins and peptides. Its popular medicinal uses are as antidiabetic, antihypertension,
antitumor, immunomodulation, antibacterial, anti-hypercholesterolemia, intestinal antiparasitia and anti-inflammation as reported
by different researchers. The Pumpkin seed is excellent source of protein and also has pharmacological activities such as anti-
diabetic, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammation activities and antioxidant effects. It has obtained considerable attention in
recent years because of the nutritional and health protective values of the seeds. The antimicrobial activity of pumpkin has many
applications, including preservation, pharmaceuticals, alternative medicine and natural therapies.
Keywords: pumpkin, therauptic, medicinal, antidiabetic
The pumpkin is a vegetable crop belonging to the
cucurbitaceae family. This family contains chemicals,
including tetracyclic triterpenes, saponins, proteins, fibers,
polysaccharides and minerals (iron, zinc, manganese, copper,
etc) [1]. The family is one of the largest families in plant
kingdom comprising of highest number of edible plant
species. Seeds embedded in a bright-yellow fibrous endocarp
are large, non endospermic and usually dark red in colour. It is
needed to complement staples in food, supplying
indispensable minerals and vitamins that may not be present in
staple diets. They generally produce more nutrients per unit
land area than staple foods. Pumpkin seed oil typically is a
highly unsaturated oil, with predominantly oleic and linoleic
acids present. Very low levels of linolenic acid or other highly
unsaturated fatty acids are present, providing pumpkin seed oil
with high oxidative stability for storage or industrial purposes
and low free radical production in human diets. Studies of
pumpkin seed oil triacylglycerol positional isomers found that
oleic and linoleic acid distribution patterns are not random [2].
The highly unsaturated fatty acid composition of pumpkinseed
oil makes it well-suited for improving nutritional benefits
from foods. Pumpkin seed oil has been implicated in
providing many health benefits [3]. The most critical health
benefit attributed to pumpkin seed oil is preventing the growth
and reducing the size of the prostate [4, 5]. There is also
evidence that suggests pumpkin seed oil can retard the
progression of hypertension [6] and mitigate
hypercholesterolemia [7] and arthritis [8]. Reduced bladder and
urethral pressure and improved bladder compliance have been
linked to pumpkin seed lipid components [9-12]. Pumpkin seed
oil has been foundto alleviate diabetes by promoting
hypoglycemic activity [3]. Pumpkin seed oil has been found to
provide a significant source of vitamin E (tocopherol) in
Japanese diets [13]. Diets high in pumpkin seeds have also been
associated with lower levels of gastric, breast, lung, and
colorectal cancer [14].There are alsopotential health benefits to
be gained from the various carotenoidpigments found in
pumpkin seed oil [15], and carotenoids from all sources of
pumpkin fruit have been linked to the prevention of prostate
cancer [16, 17]. Despite the aforementioned health benefits,
pumpkin seed oil has been shown to exhibit no antimicrobial
activity [18]. The antioxidant properties of tocopherols could
play a significant role Roasted pumpkin seed oil was found to
contain higher levels of α- and γ-tocopherol than roasted
sunflower oil [19]. Total tocopherol content was 20.1 mg/100 g,
of which 87% was in the γ-form, and no β- or δ-tocopherol
was detected. In addition to good health benefits, pumpkin
seeds are less expensive and are widely distributed.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization of United
Nation (FAO), production of pumpkins, squashes, and gourds
in 2011 was estimated over 24.3 million tons harvested from
1.7 million hectares [20].Cultivation of Cucurbita cultigens (a
variety of pumpkin) as a food source on aglobal scale
attributed to their adaptability in varied climatic conditions
provide great opportunities for increased diversity and market
growth by introducing unexplored forms of existing species
[21]. Pumpkin contains biologically active compounds like
polysaccharides, para-aminobenzoic acid, fixed oils, sterol,
proteins and peptides. The fruits are a good source of
carotenoid and γ - aminobutyric acid [22]. Due to its popular
medicinal uses, researchers have focused over pumpkin from
the last few decades, using modern tools, and credited
pumpkin with antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antitumor,
immunomodulative, antibacterial, anti-hypercholesterolemia,
intestinal antiparasitial, anti-inflammatory and antalgic [23].
International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition
Recently, functionality and composition of dietary fibre
fractions obtained from pumpkin were investigated [24],
showing the capability of these fibres to be used as food
ingredients or additives to improve food quality. Pumpkin is a
high-yield vegetable, easy to grow, and consequently
inexpensive. Changes in colour, flavour and viscosity that
occur in the course of thermal processing affect the palatibility
of a pumkin pureed product [25].
Chemical composition and bioactive components
The chemical composition of pumpkin varies from one
cultivar or species to other. According to Mi [26] proximate
composition of the pumpkin pulp varied between 75.8 and
91.33% moisture, 0.2 and 2.7% crude protein, 0.47 and 2.1%
crude ash and 3.1 and 13% carbohydrate content. Pumpkin
fruits have many nutritional components including
polysaccharides, proteins, essential amino acids, valuable
antioxidants, carotenoids and minerals. Seeds of pumpkin are
rich in oil and the variability in the oil content is due to its
broad genetic diversity. Pumpkin seeds have a high nutritional
value (table 1), provides good quality oil, and excellent source
of protein. Due to the presence of highly unsaturated fatty
acids, pumpkin seed oil is well-suited for enhancing
nutritional benefits from foods.
Table 1: Bioactive components and their percentage in Pumpkin
seed (nutritive value per 100 g).
nutritive value
Percentage of RDA
559 kcal
10.71 g
30.23 g
Total fat
49.05 g
0 mg
Dietary fibre
6 g
58 µg
4.987 mg
Pa ntothenic acid
0.750 mg
0.143 mg
0.143 mg
0.153 mg
0.27 mg
Vitamin A
16 IU
Vitamin C
7 mg
809 mg
46 mg
1.343 mg
8.82 mg
592 mg
4.543 mg
1,233 mg
9.4 µg
7.81 mg
9 µg
1 µg
74 µg
USDA-National Nutrient Data base
Nutritionaland dietary uses of Pumpkin
Pumpkins are consumed as freshly boiled and steamed or in
processed form like soup and curry. It is high in β-carotene,
which gives it yellow or orange color. Beta-carotene in plants
that have a pleasant yellow-orange color is a major source of
vitamin A[27]. It is also high in carbohydrates and minerals.
Consumption of carotene containing foods helps in the
prevention of dermatological ailments, eye disorders and
certain cancers [28]. Incorporation of β -carotene rich
ingredients in the form of pumpkin powder or flour in food
products is therefore considered a very effective approach to
eradicate vitamin-A related health problems [29].
Nutritional and health protective value of pumpkin draws
considerable attention of food scientists in recent years
[30].Food is one of our most basic needs, which provides us
energy and also nourishes all our internal organs of the body.
Plants produce oil seeds, grains, fruits and vegetables [31].
Pumpkin has gained a considerable attention in recent years
for its nutritional and health promoting values. Pumpkin is
cost effective and a nutrient rich source; the pumpkin seed
flour incorporated complementary food mix is highly nutritive
and economical with highly acceptable sensory attributes [32].
Functional components and their properties
Pumpkin seed oil is rich in many antioxidants and essential
nutritional componentslike essential fatty acids (FAs),
vitamins, squalene, carotenoids, tocopherols, phytoestrogenes,
phytosterols, polyphenols, hydrocarbon, triterpenoids
andselenium [33]. Pumpkins are rich source of calcium, iron,
vitamin A, oil (25 -55%), rich in unsaturated oleic and linoleic
acids), protein (25 - 35%) with high amounts of arginine,
aspartate andglutamic acid, but deficient in lysine and
sulphurcontaining amino acids [34].Pumpkin seeds have been
used as an anthelmintic agent and proved effective in the
treatment of functional disorders of the bladder [35].The
healing powers of plants have been reported fromcenturies;
about 80% of the available therapeutic substances have their
origin from medicinal plants [36]. Scientists proved that the
plants have medicinal properties for their biological activities
ranging from antimicrobial to antitumor. The antimicrobial
activity of plants has many applications in food preservation,
pharmaceuticals, alternative medicine and natural therapies
[37]. While some of the oils used on the basis of efficient
antimicrobial properties have well documented in vitro
activity [38]. The seed of pumpkin has pharmacological
activities such asanti-diabetic [39], antifungal, antibacterial and
antiinflammation activities, and antioxidant effects [40]. The
most critical health benefit attributed to pumpkin seed oil is
stopping the growth and reducing the size of the prostate [41].
Fruits and vegetables are essential ingredients of a healthy
diet, and their consumption as food could help to prevent wide
range of diseases [42]. The positive health effects of fruit and
vegetable have been credited to the relatively high antioxidant
concentration of fruits and vegetables [43]. Antioxidants
naturally occur in fruits and vegetables. They are
micronutrients that posses ability to neutralize free radicals or
their actions [44]. Free radical have been implicated in the
etiology of several major humans ailments, including cancer,
cardiovascular disease, neural disorders, diabetes and arthritis
[45]. Utilization of fruits and vegetables has been increased
International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition
rapidly due to their health benefits. However, the perishable
nature of fruits and vegetables and over-dependency of human
on fewer plant species generate immense pressure on the
industries to supply bulk of fresh fruits and vegetables to the
emerging population. Such increased demand can only be
fulfilled by either using the technology to prevent the
deterioration of commodity after harvest or to introduce
underutilized fruits and vegetables for their commercial
utilization. These less significant underutilized fruits remained
unexplored for and remained confined mainly to natural wild,
semi-wild and semi domesticated conditions albeit with large
ever increasing variability. Besides their importance as
potential horticulture species these plants are incidentally store
houses of genes for adaptation to hostile climatic conditions,
salt tolerance, diseases tolerance and several important
nutritional values. Further, efforts to cultivate these plants
have not been explored as their economic potential has either
been not completely explored or such products are confined
mostly limited to traditional usage [46]. Many of the indigenous
tropical and temperate fruits and vegetables have still
remained underexploited due to the unawareness of their
potential uses and market demand. These species have many
uses as fruits, vegetables and also have significant therapeutic
and medicinal properties [47]. Pumpkin is a essential food
ingredient as part of a diet and as a medicinal therapeutic [48].
It is believed that pumpkin is a healthy and functional
vegetable as it is rich in phenolics, flavonoids, vitamins (in-
cluding β-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin B2, α-tocopherol,
vitamin C, vitamin E), amino acids, carbohydrates and
minerals (especially potassium) and has low energy content
and a large amount of fiber. Pumpkin may prove to be an
excellent source of provitamin a carotenoids for the
prevention of vitamin A deficiency [49]. Besides the provitamin
a activity the special physiological functionality of several
carotenoids as well as the prevention of cancer made it
mandatory to enhance the knowledge about the content of
carotenoids in foods [50].
Therapeutic and Health Promoting Properties
Anti-carcinogenic effect
Cancer is a rapidly growing health problem; it presents the
biggest challenge to researchers and medical professionals and
has been selected for various prevention and therapeutic
strategies. The dietary intake of many vegetables and fruits
has been found to reduce the risk of occurrence of cancer [51].
Diets high in pumpkin seeds have also been associated with
lower risk of gastric, breast, lung and colorectal cancers [52].
There are also potential health benefits, including anti-
carcinogenic effects, to be gained from the various carotenoid
pigments found in pumpkin seed oil [53]. The carotenoids from
pumpkin fruits have been linked to the prevention of prostate
cancer [54, 55]. There are still various controversies regarding
the use of juices of pumpkin fruits in cancer situations; for
example, boiled pumpkin juice significantly suppressed the
incidence of aberrant cells while fresh pumpkin juice
enhanced it [56].It was reported that pumpkin fruit extracts
markedly reduced tumour weight in S-180-bearing mice [56].
Cheong et al., [56]. Isolated some basic proteins from pumpkin
seeds named MAP2 (MW 2249 Da) and MAP4 (MW 4650
Da), and reported inhibition of the growth of leukemia K-562
cells. Moreover, other proteins from pumpkin seeds were
reported to inhibit melanoma proliferation [57]. Xia et al. [58].
Isolated a novel ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP) called
moschatin from the mature seeds of pumpkin (C. moschata)
and a novel immunotoxin moschatin-Ng76 was prepared
successfully which efficiently inhibits the growth of targeted
melanoma cells M21 with an IC50 (50 % inhibitory
concentration) of 0·04 nM, 1500 times lower than that of free
moschatin. Recently, Hou et al. [59] isolated a novel type 1 RIP
designated cucurmosin from the sarcocarp of C. moschata that
exhibits strong cytotoxicity to three cancer cell lines of both
human and murine origin, besides rRNA N-glycosidase
Anti-diabetic activity
With the rapidly increasing cases of diabetes and its high risk
interms of economic perspective on world population, the
research for safer and inexpensive medicines for the treatment
of diabetes is new challenge and innovative aid to the era of
medicine technology. The use of herbal sources with bioactive
components such as pumpkin is one among them. Therefore,
various studies for the anti-diabetic potential of pumpkin is
one of them, which is a normally cultivated plant in farms and
its fruits are used for human consumption in diabetic
conditions [60]. Local healers recommend the ingestion of
crude aqueous extract of pumpkin fruits for the treatment of
type 2 diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus [61].
In various other reports, the pumpkin exhibited acute
hypoglycaemic activity (blood sugar lowering) in temporarily
hyperglycaemic rabbits, in alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits,
and in type 2 diabetic patients [62, 63, 64]. Xia & Wang [65]
demonstrated that pumpkin has hypoglycaemic activity like a
standard drug (tolbutamide) in healthy animals with temporary
hyperglycaemia and in mild diabetic animals, but not in severe
diabetic animals. They suggested that these effects might be
due to either increased pancreatic insulin secretion from the
existing b-cells or insulin release from the bound form. D-
chiro-Inositol was identified in pumpkin (especially in
Cucurbita ficifolia) and this compound has been considered as
an insulin action mediator (insulin sensitiser) [66]. However,
the detailed mechanism of antidiabetic action of this
component remains to be clarified. Various other components
have also been isolated from pumpkin and analysed for anti-
diabetic potential. For example, Kwon et al. [61]. reported that
phenolic phytochemicals of pumpkin have anti-diabetic
effects in terms of b-glucosidase and a-amylase inhibition.
Pumpkin also has hypotensive effects in terms of angiotensin
I-converting enzyme-inhibitory activities. Furthermore,
Quanhong et al. [67]. also investigated hypoglycaemic
substances from pumpkin, and they isolated protein-bound
polysaccharide by activity-guided isolation from water-soluble
substances of the pumpkin fruits. When this protein-bound
polysaccharide from pumpkin fruits (PBPP) was evaluated for
hypoglycaemic activity and effects on serum insulin levels in
alloxan diabetic rats, and it was found that PBPP can increase
the levels of serum insulin, reduce the blood glucose levels
and improve tolerance of glucose in alloxan-induced diabetic
animals. By considering all these facts, it can be concluded
that pumpkin has potential anti-diabetic properties, which may
suggest the inclusion of this plant in anti-diabetic regimens to
International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition
treat human diabetes. However, further studies in detail are
warranted to explore the mechanistic and therapeutic potential
of pumpkins for diabetes.
Antimicrobial and Antifungal effects
Despite the aforementioned health benefits, pumpkin seed oil
has been shown to exhibit antimicrobial activity[68]. Pumpkin
extracts showed a broad spectrum antimicrobial activity
againstseveral bacteria [69].Un-irradiated pumpkin seeds were
effective against Rhodotorula rubra and Candida albicans at
0.5 and 1.0 mg/ml concentrations [70].
Anti-inflammatory effects
Pumpkin-fortified foods are considered as a good source of
anti-inflammatory substances, which can help in many
diseases such as arthritis[71]. Pumpkin seed oil significantly
inhibited adjuvantinduced arthritis in rats, similar to a well-
known anti-inflammatory substance called indomethacin[72].
The beta-carotene in pumpkin seeds has anti-inflammatory
properties and regular consumption of pumpkin seeds can
protect against joint inflammation [73].
Pumpkin provides valuable source of carotenoids that have a
major role in the nutrition in the form of pro-vitamin A. Being
rich source of carotenoids pumpkin-based food products can
help in preventing skin diseases, eye disorders and cancer.
Incorporation of β -carotene rich ingredients in the
development of food products is considered a cost-effective
approach to vitamin-A related health problems. Moreover, the
anti-diabetic properties and anticancerousproperties of
pumpkin have generated interest in consuming this fruit and
utilizing it as a source of various bioactives for the
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... Pumpkin seeds are also excellent source of nutrients filled with minerals and are responsible for fighting diseases (Dar et al., 2017) and provide good quality oil and high content of protein and also have pharmacological activities. In addition to protein, it is a great source of iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber, oil, and minerals and can be used for fortification of complementary food mix, with highly acceptable sensory qualities and a rich nutritive value by enhancing a longer shelf-life. ...
... Xia and Wang [17] conducted research on hypoglycaemic effect of pumpkin by using streptozocin-diabetic rats. Development of nutraceuticals and value-added food products by utilization of pumpkin-based components is very important, due to its antidiabetic and anticarcinogenic activities [18]. Pumpkin plays an important role in human health by acting as medicinal food because it has potential of antidiabetic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory agent [19]. ...
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Pumpkin is a well-known vegetable, among the members of Cucurbitaceae family, due to its importance as pharma food. Keeping in view the antidiabetic and plasma lipids lowering potential of pumpkin, the present study was conducted to investigate that, which part of pumpkin (peel, flesh, and seeds), possess more bioactive compounds, exhibiting antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic potential. Albino rats with 190-210 g body weight were divided into 11 groups. Five rats were included in each group; group A was negative control, group B was positive control, and groups C to K were diabetic rats fed with pumpkin peel, flesh, and seed powders. Diabetes was induced in rats with the help of alloxan monohydrate. During 28 days of experimental period, blood glucose level of different rat’s groups was checked with the help of glucometer, at every 7 days interval and at the end of 28 days study, plasma lipids were checked with the help of commercial kits. A significant decrease in blood glucose level ( 128.33 ± 1.67 mg / dl ), TC ( 88.43 ± 0.66 mg / dl ), TG ( 69.79 ± 0.49 mg / dl ), and LDL-C ( 21.45 ± 0.08 mg / dl ) was recorded in rat groups fed with 15 g pumpkin seed powder, at the end of study. After pumpkin seeds, second significant antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic effect was recorded in rat’s groups fed with 15 g pumpkin peel powder. Pumpkin flesh powder effect in lowering blood glucose level and plasma lipids was less significant as compared to seeds and peel powder. As the dose of the pumpkin powders was increased from 5 to 10 and then 15 g, the blood glucose-lowering and plasma lipid-lowering effect became more significant. Similarly, as the experimental duration was expanded from first week to 28 days, this antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic effect became more significant. These results were sufficient to conclude that pumpkin has high potential to be used in human diet to cope with noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and hypercholesterolemia.
Fruit peel/pulp distribution of biologically active compounds is an important characteristic of plant physiology and the basis of zero waste production in agriculture. Among C. ficifolia, C. maxima and C. moschata the former showed the lowest dry matter content, especially in peel, similar peel and pulp values of antioxidant activity (AOA) and polyphenol content (TP), with the highest levels in fruit placenta. Peel carbohydrate profile of C. ficifolia fruit was characterized by lower levels of disaccharides compared to C. maxima and C. moschata peel and an opposite pattern of monosaccharides accumulation. The analysis of 25 elements content in Cucurbita peel and pulp, using ICP-MS, indicated that C. ficifolia fruit are characterized by significantly high concentrations of Sr, Si and I in pulp compared to the values of C. maxima and C. moschata . On the contrary, C. maxima and C. moschata were characterized by low concentration of pulp Mn. Highly significant positive correlations were recorded between Cr-Sr, Cr-Ca and CaSr (r=0.906; 0.939 and 0.974 respectively) and P-Cu (r=0.968). Despite C. ficifolia , does not contain carotenoids, it is highly valuable due to the high levels of Si, I, Cr and Ca in peel and pulp, which reveals new areas of its application.
One of the most important factors for maintaining human health is a good nutrition of macro and micronutrients. Insufficient nutrition of essential nutrients leads to various disorders of the body. In recent years, more and more malnutrition has been observed, especially a deficiency of polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Of great interest is pumpkin seed oil, which is rich in linoleic acid. Linoleic acid belongs to the polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-6 family, which is not formed in the body and must be constantly supplied with food. Cultivation of pumpkin in the temperate zone is very important. This will provide the population with vegetable oil with high biological efficiency due to the content of linoleic acid. The fatty acid composition of pumpkin seeds is influenced by many factors: climatic data, varieties, agricultural practices, etc. Mechanized industrial crops of pumpkin are located mainly in the southern regions, due to the fact that this crop is thermophilic. In recent years, there has been a change in climate, in the temperate zone, the growing season has increased due to the earlier onset of spring and later autumn, the sum of active temperatures, etc. There is a certain tendency to increase the area occupied by this crop in the temperate zone. The correct selection of varieties and variety samples for mechanized cultivation becomes an urgent task. The experiments were carried out in the Moscow region. 16 varieties and variety samples were studied according to the standard method. A high oil content in the studied samples was revealed - The studied varieties and variety samples have a high oil content: from 33.6 to 54.6%. When studying the fatty acid composition, the highest content is represented by the essential polyunsaturated fatty linoleic acid up to 68.55% - in the Pivdenny variety.
Modern biotechnology has played a significant role in human welfare in a more sustainable way. In the past two decades, biotechnology has improved agriculture, medicine, environment and food industries. Biotechnology has enhanced the quality, shelf life, nutrition, processing and production of food. Functional foods have a great potential to address hidden hunger, i.e. a lack of micronutrients. Functional food not only possesses nutrition but also shows disease curing properties. Hence, functional food contributes towards the problem of global hunger and human health. There is a requirement to scale in food and nutrition by using different biotechnological techniques. The present chapter investigates and explores modern biotechnological tools in functional food as well as contribute to future perspectives where modern biotechnological techniques can be utilized for improving functional food. This chapter also explores the interrelationship between food, nutrition and techniques in biotechnology.
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In the present study, pumpkin seed extract was used to synthesize copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) along with evaluating its anticancer activity using different molecular biology tools in the human colorectal cancer cell line (HCT-116). Morphological and structural properties of the biogenically synthesized CuO NPs were characterized by UV-visible spectrophotometry (UV-vis), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). For estimating the anticancer efficacy, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide cytotoxicity, morphological alteration, reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, and alterations in the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) were determined. SEM and TEM data revealed the formation of spherical nanoparticles possessing an average size of 20 nm. The CuO NPs showed 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) at 25 µg/mL against the HCT-116 cell line. The treatment with IC50 concentration of CuO NPs showed significant shrinking, detachment, membrane blebbing, and shape distortion of cancer cells. Similarly, the IC50 dose of CuO NPs showed significantly early apoptosis in cancer cells compared to late apoptosis. The cancer cell line also showed a dose-dependent increase and decrease in ROS formation and MMP, respectively. The results obtained through various assays indicated significant anticancer efficacy of biogenically synthesized CuO NPs. Thus, further studies are recommended to validate our results using ex vivo and in vivo models.
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Background Germplasm identification is an essential connection linking the conservation and exploitation of crop genetic resources in several plant breeding programs. This study highlights the biochemical and molecular variations in a collection of pumpkin genotypes representing four climate zones. The information could help improve germplasm management and sustainable exploitation of the neglected genotypes. Methods and results Chemical characterization and genetic diversity among nine Egyptian landraces of pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata Duchesne) were estimated using Diode Array (DDA) Near Infra-Red (NIR) technology and the Inter simple Sequence Repeat markers (ISSR). Pumpkin seeds were collected from various geographical parts of Egypt. The spectroscopic properties of pumpkin seeds were used to quantify the fat, moisture, protein, ash, fiber, and total carbohydrate contents. The ten ISSR primers generated a total number of 46 genotype-specific bands, and the total polymorphism produced in the tested landraces was 63.58%. Based on the ISSR data, the polymorphism analysis divided the nine pumpkin landraces into two main groups, two subgroups, and four sub subgroups. The most diverse pumpkin landraces were Alexandria and Sohag, with a similarity percentage of 49.6%. However, the highest calculated similarity value was 88.3% between Matruh and Gharbia. The resultant genotype-specific bands can be used as markers for future genotypic characterization of pumpkins. Conclusions The study results could be helpful in the chemical phenotypic characterization and the parental selection and planning for future breeding programs for pumpkin improvement.
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Mocaf biscuits were developed with the addition of pumpkin and carrot puree used as complementary foods. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the addition of pumpkin and carrot puree on the chemical, color and textural properties of a mocaf biscuit. This study conducted using a completely randomized design with 2 factors namely type of puree (pumpkin and carrot) and concentration of puree (15, 20 and 25%). The obtained results indicated that the addition of pumpkin and carrot puree on the making of mocaf biscuit significantly affected the moisture content, protein, fat, carbohydrate, total carotenoid, a*, b* and hardness. The best treatment in this study was carried out using the de Garmo method based on the effectiveness index. The best treatment was mocaf biscuit with addition 15% carrot puree which had moisture content, ash, fat, protein, carbohydrate, energy, total carotene, total dietary fiber, L*, a*, b*, hardness and fracturability as follows 6.31%, 2.27%, 6.88%, 12.84%, 71.71%, 429.88 kcal/100g, 85.16 µg / g, 4.59%, 78.47, 5.54, 28.80, 778.85 gf, and 6.36 mm, respectively.
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The edible flowers and its several products gaining its importance as functional food. Pumpkin flower mainly consumed in India and Mexico but due to lack of scientific research there is a neophobia among people. The objective of the paper is to analyse the physicochemical, biochemical properties, proximate analysis, antioxidant activities, anthocyanin content and fatty acid profiling. The fresh pumpkin flower was having an average moisture content of 85% (wb) with a dimension of 90 × 51 x 22 mm (l x w x t). The (L, a*, b*) value signifies the bright yellow color having gumminess (26 g) and chewiness (4.70 mJ). In this study the nutritional properties of the pumpkin flower were also determined and significant amount of Sodium (11.5 mg/100 g), Potassium (18.2 mg/100 g), Calcium (17.6 mg/100 g), phenol (17.39 µg/ml), flavonoid (17.13 µg/ml), antioxidant (51.65%DPPH) and anthocyanin (10.3 mg/100 g) was present. Among several fatty acids’ oleic acid (21%), myristic acid (15.99%) and stearic acid (15.19%) was maximum. The presence of several phytonutrients and fatty acids makes pumpkin flower a potential source of functional food in near future. Graphical abstract
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Thirty-two plant species collected from serpentine (ultramafic) soils in Sri Lanka were screened for antimicrobial properties against three Gram-positive and two Gramnegative bacteria, a non-acid fast bacterium, and the yeast, Candida albicans. Methanol extracts of 29 species belonging to 12 families were active against at least one microorganism. Activity against the Gram-positive and non-acid fast bacteria was common, however, only two taxa, Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) and a species of Phyllanthus L. (Euphorbiaceae), were active against the Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. None of the species was active against the other Gram-negative bacterium, Escherichia coli, or C. albicans. Photoactivity was observed from extracts of 10 species belonging to 10 families, including Convolvulaceae, Lamiaceae, and Rhamnaceae where photoactivity has not been previously reported. Interestingly, Leucas zeylanica (L.) R. Br. (Lamiaceae), one of only three species collected from more than one site, showed population-level variation in photoactivity. This is the first study where plants from highly stressful serpentine environments have been tested for antimicrobial activity. Our findings suggest that plants from serpentine environments may have altered antimicrobial activities when compared to their relatives from non-serpentine environments, urging the need to pay attention to substrate, habitat, etc., when collecting plants to test for antimicrobial properties.
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The color stability of pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata, Duchesne ex Poiret) puree of pH 4.00 and 5.00 containing potassium sorbate (KS), ascorbic acid (AA) or their mixture, packaged in polyethylene and in polyvinyl chloride–polyvinylidene chloride copolymer (PCPC) bags, was analyzed throughout the storage at 25 °C. Color changes were measured through lightness (L), redness (a), yellowness (b). Changes in a and b were mathematically modeled. In general, lightness, redness and yellowness diminished with storage time. The presence of KS diminished color loss of purees packed in PCPC bags and increased the discoloration of purees contained in polyethylene suggesting, in the first case, that KS oxidation diminished the available oxygen protecting carotenoids oxidation, and in the second case, the existence of a coupled oxidation between KS and carotenoids helped by the oxygen presence. Addition of AA to a puree of pH 4.00 containing KS and packed in polyethylene minimized the losses of redness and yellowness; probably as a consequence of the antioxidant action of AA. The increase in pH from 4.00 to 5.00 in the presence of KS significantly minimized color degradation of puree packed in PCPC. From the point of view of improving color stability, a convenient formulation could be a puree of pH 5.00 preserved with KS and packed in PCPC.
This study deals with the analyses of the quantity of moisture, crude proteins, total lipids, carbohydrates, ash, crude fibre and calcium. These analyses were carried out in five different species of egusi seeds, which belong to the Cucurbitaceae family. These seeds are: Cucumeropsis mannii (egusi melon), Cucurbita maxima (pumpkin or squash gourd), Cucurbita moschata (musk melon), Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd or calabash) and Cucumis sativus (“Ibo” egusi). The moisture content was determined by drying in an oven to constant weight, crude protein content by Kjedahl method. Total lipids by Soxhlet, ash content by incinerating in a furnace and carbohydrates by the Bertrand's method. The crude fibre content was the residue obtained after sequential hot digestion of the defatted sample with dilute acid and alkaline solutions. The calcium content was determined by the complexiometric method. From this study, it was noticed that the moisture levels (4.33 - 7.25% f.w) were similar to those of other oilseeds such as soybean and the fluted pumpkin seed. These egusi samples contained good levels of crude proteins (24.3 - 41.6% d.w), total lipids (42.9 - 57.3% d.w) and calcium (129.7 - 269.7 mg/100 g d.w). Their levels of crude proteins were similar to those of soybean and the fluted pumpkin but higher than that of groundnut (23% d.w), while the total lipid contents were similar to those of groundnut and the fluted pumpkin seed but higher than that of soybean (19.1% d.w). The carbohydrate contents of these seeds (4.56 – 10.2% d.w) are lower than those of groundnut (18.6% d.w) and the fluted pumpkin seed (14.5% d.w). The crude fibre levels (0.9 – 1.63% d.w) were lower than those of soybean (5.71% d.w) and groundnuts (5.15% d.w). The ash contents of these seeds (2.82 - 5.0% d.w) were similar to those of groundnuts (2.79% d.w), soybean (5.06% d.w) and the fluted pumpkin seed (3.4% d.w). Calcium levels compared well with that of soybean, higher than that of groundnut (49 mg/100 g d.w) and even higher than that of the fluted pumpkin seed (1.1 mg/100 g d.w). These egusi seeds can therefore be considered as an important source of plant proteins, lipids and calcium, which could be used in the fight against malnutrition.
The present study aimed to examine the effect of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seeds supplementation on atherogenic diet-induced atherosclerosis. Rat were divided into two main groups , normal control and atherogenic control rats , each group composed of three subgroups one of them supplemented with 2% arginine in drinking water and the other supplemented with pumpkin seeds in diet at a concentration equivalent to 2% arginine. Supplementation continued for 37 days. Atherogenic rats supplemented with pumpkin seeds showed a significant decrease (p<0.001) in their serum concentrations of total cholesterol and LDL - C as they dropped from 4.89 mmol / L to 2.55 mmol /L and from 3.33 mmol / L to 0.70 mmol / L respectively. Serum concentrations of HDL-C were also significantly elevated in the same group. Although, atherogenic rats supplemented with 2% arginine showed significant increase in serum concentration of HDL-C, no significant changes were observed in their serum concentrations of total cholesterol and LDL-C. Our results showed that treatment of atherogenic rats with pumpkin seeds significantly decreased serum concentrations of TC and LDL-C. Our findings suggest that pumpkin seeds supplementation has a protective effect against atherogenic rats and this protective effect was not attributed to the high arginine concentrations in pumpkin seeds.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common disease in elderly men. Although it is a non - malignant disease, it can have a significant impact on the quality of life of elderly men. The pumpkin seed is claimed to be useful in the management of BPH. This investigation analysed the chemical composition of pumpkin seeds and examined its effect on citral-induced hyperplasia of the prostate in Wistar rats. Citral was administered orally into stomachs of male rats to induce BPH to all rats except negative control group. A rat from each group was sacrificed after 15 days from study, protein binding prostate was determined in ventral prostate gland in order to ensure that BPH has been induced. Fifty adult Wistar male rats were divided into five groups as follows: negative control group that have no BPH and fed on basal diet (C-), positive group rats have BPH and fed on basal diet only (C+), the remaining groups had BPH and were fed on different level of pumpkin seeds, 2.5, 5 and 10%. Four weeks later all rats were sacrificed and several investigations have been conducted such as ventral prostatic growth, protein binding prostate (PBP) and the histology of testis. Citral significantly increased prostate weight (P
Due to the increasing interest in the supply with antioxidants and especially carotenoids in foods, pumpkins were analysed for their content of α -carotene, β -carotene, and lutein. A wide range of varieties of pumpkins that are commercially available in Austria was analysed. For this study the pumpkins were grown in Austria to obtain data that are relevant for local nutrition. The varieties analysed derived from three species i.e. Cucurbita pepo,C. maxima and C. moschata. Additionally, a cross breed of C. maxima and C. moschata was tested. The content of the carotenoids ranged from 0.06 to 7.4 mg/100 g for β -carotene, from 0 to 7.5 mg/100 g forα -carotene and from 0 to 17mg/100g for lutein.
The degradation kinetics of both the beta-carotene and visual color of pumpkin puree (blanched for 2min in 1% NaCl solution) were determined at a temperature range of 60–100°C for a time period varying between 0 and 2h. An increase in the beta-carotene content was observed when the pumpkin puree was blanched and thermally treated at 60°C. Using the concept of fractional conversion, it was observed that the degradation of both beta-carotene and visual color followed the first-order reaction kinetics. Dependence of the rate constants followed the Arrhenius relationship. The activation energy for beta-carotene was found to be 27.2715kJ/mol and the activation energy for visual color using La/b and ΔE values was found to be 33.6831kJ/mol and 30.3943kJ/mol respectively. Higher activation energy signifies greater temperature sensitivity of visual color. The change in visual color was found to be a direct manifestation of the change in beta-carotene content. Rheological characteristics of the puree was also studied over the temperature range of 60–100°C. Herschel–Bulkley model was found to fit adequately over the entire temperature range. Pumpkin puree exhibited yield stress, which decreased exponentially with temperature. With the increase in temperature, the puree was found to behave as a pseudoplastic fluid. Arrhenius model gave a satisfactory description of the temperature dependence of apparent viscosity. The activation energy for apparent viscosity and consistency index of pumpkin puree was found to be 13.3845kJ/mol and 31.9394kJ/mol respectively.
Cucurbita ficifolia is commonly used as an antidiabetic and antihyperglycaemic agent in Asia. However, the mechanisms of antidiabetic action of the plant remain to be clarified. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of C. ficifolia fruit extract on blood plasma, plasma insulin level, lipid peroxidation and number of β cells in normal and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. The results indicated that feeding with C. ficifolia fruit extract caused reduction in STZ-induced hyperglycaemia while increase plasma insulin level in STZ diabetic rats, and markedly reduced the STZ-induced lipid peroxidation in pancreas of the rats. Further there was a significant increase in the number of β cells in C. ficifolia-treated animals when compared with untreated diabetics, however, their number was still less than that obtained for normal rats, indicating the mode of protection of C. ficifolia fruit extract on pancreatic β cells. The present study thus confirms a hypoglycaemic effect of C. ficifolia fruit extract and suggests that oral feeding of C. ficifolia fruit extract may have a role in the renewal of β cells in STZ diabetic rats or, alternatively, may permit the recovery of partially destroyed β cells. Our results provide some documentation to define the role and mode of action of C. ficifolia fruit extract in its potential and promising use in treating diabetes. Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry