Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/13/2007
Publication Date: 5/30/2007
Citation: Stevenson, D.G., Eller, F.J., Wang, L., Jane, J., Wang, L., Inglett, G.E. 2007. Oil and tocopherol content and composition of pumpkin seed oil in twelve cultivars. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 55(10):4005-4013. Interpretive Summary: Twelve pumpkin cultivars were cultivated in Iowa and their seed oil content, fatty acid composition and tocopherol content were studied. Oil content ranged from 11 to 31%, total unsaturated fatty acid content ranged from 73.1-80.5%, with predominant fatty acids present were linoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic. Tocopherol content, which have antioxidant activity were high and the levels of unstable linolenic acid were low. Study showed potential for pumpkin seed oil to have long shelf-life, be effectively used in industry without rapid oil degradation, and improve the nutrition of human diets.
Technical Abstract: Twelve pumpkin cultivars (Cucurbita maxima D.), cultivated in Iowa, were studied for their seed oil content, fatty acid composition and tocopherol content. Oil content ranged from 11 to 31%. Total unsaturated fatty acid content ranged from 73.1-80.5%. The predominant fatty acids present were linoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic. Significant differences were observed among the cultivars for stearic, oleic, linoleic and gadoleic acid content of oil. Low linolenic acid levels were observed (< 1%). Tocopherol content of the oils ranged from 29.9-75.1 micrograms/grams oil for alpha-tocopherol, 74.9-492.8 micrograms/grams for gamma-tocopherol and 35.3-1109.7 micrograms/grams for delta-tocopherol. Study showed potential for pumpkin seed oil from all twelve cultivars to have high oxidative stability that would be suitable for food and industrial applications, as well as high unsaturation and tocopherol content that could potentially improve nutrition of human diets.