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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Seo, Jung
item Burri, Betty
item Quan, Zhejiu
item Neidlinger, Terry

Submitted to: Journal of Chromatography A
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2004
Publication Date: 1/1/2005
Citation: Seo, J.S., Burri, B.J., Quan, Z., Neidlinger, T.R. Extraction and chromatography of carotenoids from pumpkin. Journal of Chromatography A. 2005. 1073:371-375.

Interpretive Summary: Carotenoids are a major source of Vitamin A, which is necessary for normal eyesight, growth, and embryonic development. Vitamin A deficiency is a common cause of blindness and infant mortality, and a major health problem in Southeast Asia, Africa, and parts of South and Central America. Currently, Vitamin A deficiency is usually treated with commercial Vitamin A supplements. However, there are ongoing public health initiatives that seek to prevent Vitamin A deficiency by feeding pregnant women and children at risk the bright orange or dark green fruits and vegetables that are rich sources of carotenoids. Carotenoids appear to be difficult to absorb from the green leafy vegetable that were first used for food supplementation program, but absorption appears to be much better from yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. The most common seccessful interventions have used mangos, which are popular and nourishing, but spoil easily and have a short season during the Spring and Summer. Pumpkin might also be an excellent source of provitamin A carotenoids for preventing Vitamin A deficiency because it is known to contain carotenoids,is easy to store and transport, and it is readily available in the Fall and Winter.

Technical Abstract: Vitamin A deficiency is a health problem in Southeast Asia that is treated by feeding orange fruits and vegetables such as mango. Pumpkin is a traditional Korean food that is easy to store and is already believed to have health benefits. We extracted carotenoids from pumpkin by liquid-liquid extraction and by supercritical fluid extraction. We measured carotenoids by reversed-phase chromatography with diode array detection. The major carotenoid in pumpkin (>80%) is beta-carotene, with lesser amounts of lutein, lycopene, alpha-carotene and cis-beta-carotene. Pumpkin is a rich source of beta-carotene and might be useful for preventing vitamin A deficiency.

Last Modified: 05/21/2017
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