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The Profile of Secondary Metabolites and Other Bioactive Compounds in Cucurbita pepo L. and Cucurbita moschata Pumpkin Cultivars

Department of Gastronomy Sciences and Functional Foods, Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 31, 60–624 Poznań, Poland
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Molecules 2019, 24(16), 2945; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24162945
Received: 20 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Secondary Metabolites in Plant Foods)
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Abstract

Plants and animals are sources of various bioactive compounds that exhibit a broad spectrum of health-promoting effects. Scientists continue studies on the chemical composition of many products in search of foods with high nutritional value. The pumpkin (Cucurbita sp.) is unquestionably a source of valuable nutrients. This vegetable is well-known all over the world and it is appreciated due to its high content of carotenoids, but it is still not much used in the processing industry. The aim of present study was to compare the flesh of 15 pumpkin varieties belonging to the Cucurbita pepo and C. moschata species in terms of the bioactive compound content (carotenoids, phenolic acids, flavonols, minerals and vitamins) and to demonstrate whether the variety has an effect on the chemical composition. To date, no such extensive research has been carried out in this area. The research revealed that the pumpkin pulp had high content of carotenoids. In nearly all cases lutein was the most abundant carotenoid. Numerous phenolic acids and flavonols were also identified. All the cultivars contained gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and rutin. The pumpkin pulp also contained alpha- and gamma-tocopherol. No beta- or delta-tocopherol was found. Potassium, calcium, and sodium were the most abundant minerals. The research also proved that the profile of bioactive compounds in the pumpkin pulp was considerably diversified and depended on the species and cultivar View Full-Text
Keywords: pumpkin; Cucurbita pepo L.; Cucurbita moschata Duchesne ex Poir; phytonutrients; polyphenols; carotenoids pumpkin; Cucurbita pepo L.; Cucurbita moschata Duchesne ex Poir; phytonutrients; polyphenols; carotenoids
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kulczyński, B.; Gramza-Michałowska, A. The Profile of Secondary Metabolites and Other Bioactive Compounds in Cucurbita pepo L. and Cucurbita moschata Pumpkin Cultivars. Molecules 2019, 24, 2945.

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