Comparative study on physical characteristics and nutritional composition of pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) at different stages of maturity
Present day scientists are paying more attention towards developing new value-added products from underutilized crops for economic growth in agriculture system. Therefore, present experiment was undertaken to explicate the nutritional potential of pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) at different stage of maturity until it is fully mature and ripe. Variation in different physico-biochemical properties,for example moisture content, sugars, titratable acidity (TA), crude proteins, crude fat, β-carotene, ascorbic acid, pectin and fibre in flesh, peel and seeds of fruit provides the better understanding for its utilization in preparation of various products. The firmness of pumpkin increased from 4.94 lbs/inch2 at 15 DAA (Days after antesis) to 22.50 lbs/inch2 at ripe stage during maturity. β-carotene content of flesh increased from 1.34 to13.30 mg/100g and 26.26 while quantity ascorbic acid in flesh of fruit declined from 26.46 to 13.16 mg/100 g at 15 DAA to ripe stage.In seeds crude fat increased from 5.43 to 50.24% and protein increase was found to be from 4.10 to 19.56%. Pectin content (as calcium pectate) of flesh and peel increased from 0.56 to 1.89 and 0.78 to 2.15%, respectively from 15 DAA to 45 DAA and at later stage it decreased. The knowledge about physic-chemical quality of pumpkin at different stage of maturity would help in selecting right stage of fruit maturity for its utilization in acceptable manner.
Days after anthesis; Flesh; Maturity; Peel; Pumpkin; Seed; Chemical composition
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