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J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Feb;52(2):1008-15. doi: 10.1007/s13197-013-1089-5. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Evaluation of the potential of squash pumpkin by-products (seeds and shell) as sources of antioxidant and bioactive compounds.

Author information

1
CECAV/UTAD - Veterinary and Animal Science Research Center, Quality and Food Safety and Public Health Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Apartado 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal ; Veterinary Science Department, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Apartado 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal.
2
CITAB/UTAD - Centre for the Research and Technology for Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Apartado 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal.
3
CITAB/UTAD - Centre for the Research and Technology for Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Apartado 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal ; CECAV/UTAD - Veterinary and Animal Science Research Center, Quality and Food Safety and Public Health Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Apartado 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal.
4
Douromel - Fábrica de Confeitaria, Lda, Tabuaço, Portugal.
5
CITAB/UTAD - Centre for the Research and Technology for Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Apartado 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal ; Agronomy Department, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Apartado 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal.

Abstract

The transformation of byproducts and wastes generated by agro-food companies is of high importance since only a small portion of plant material is utilized directly for human consumption. Squash pumpkin is greatly used in Portugal and as by-products of its processing are generated tons of shell and seeds. In this study we aim to evaluate the potential of these wastes as sources of beneficial and bioactive compounds (antioxidants and antimicrobials), studying the effect of different extraction solvents and drying methods. The samples (fresh and cooked) were freeze-dried and oven-dried followed by extraction with different solvents that revealed the following decreasing order of efficiency: 70 % ethanol, 70 % methanol, 70 % acetone, ultra-pure water and 100 % dichloromethane. The oven-dried samples showed higher values of antioxidant activity and phenolic content, with exception of the values of phenolics for the seeds material. The shell samples presented higher values (1.47 - 70.96 % inhibition) of antioxidant activity and total phenolic content (2.00 - 10.69 mg GAE/g DW). A positive correlation was found between these two parameters on the shell samples, however the squash seeds revealed a negative correlation between the phenolic content and the antioxidant activity. The results show that these industrial agro-food residues are potentially good sources of bioactive compounds with health benefits.

KEYWORDS:

Antimicrobial activity; Antioxidant activity; Cucurbita pepo; Industrial by-products; Phenolic acids

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