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Functional and nutraceutical properties of pumpkin – a review

Simran Kaur (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India)
Anil Panghal (Department of Processing and Food Engineering, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India)
M.K. Garg (Department of Processing and Food Engineering, Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India)
Sandeep Mann (TOT Division, Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, Ludhiana, India)
Sunil K Khatkar (Department of Dairy Technology, College of Dairy Science and Technology, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, India)
Poorva Sharma (Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India)
Navnidhi Chhikara (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 28 August 2019

Issue publication date: 5 March 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the nutritional and food value of pumpkin Cucurbita, along with different health benefits. Cucurbita (pumpkin) is an herbaceous vine, member of Cucurbitaceae family. It is an edible, heat-sensitive plant, which has an abundant amount of active compounds such as carotenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, polyphenols, tannins, tocopherols, phytosterols and cucurbitacin, accounted for numerous health benefits, namely, antidiabetic, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, hypotensive, hyper protective activities.

Design/methodology/approach

Major well-known bibliometric information sources such as Web of Science, Scopus, Mendeley and Google Scholar were searched with keywords such as nutrition value of Cucurbita, Cucurbita utilization, bioactive compounds of pumpkin, health benefits, processing, food formulations and current scenarios were chosen to obtain a large range of papers to be analyzed. A final inventory of 105 scientific sources was made after sorting and classifying them according to different criteria based on topic, academic field, country of origin and year of publication.

Findings

The comprehensive review of different literature, data sources and research papers seeks to find and discuss various nutritional benefits of pumpkin. It contains all necessary macro- and micro-nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, antioxidants and bioactive compounds with a relatively low amount of antinutrients. The recent upsurge in consumer interest for health-promoting products has opened up new vistas for plant products containing bioactive compounds in different food formulations.

Originality/value

This paper contains information regarding the chemical composition, nutritive value, phytochemical studies, pharmacological properties, bio-accessibility, food and industrial applications of pumpkin. Worldwide, pumpkin is used as food additive in various food products such as candy, weaning mix, corn grits, kheer, jam, crackers, bread, etc. Effect of different processing methods such as high temperature, pH, blanching, oven drying, freeze-drying to retain or minimize its losses in case of color, texture, flavor, and the carotenoids are of concern. The review paper highlights the nutritional, therapeutic, potential and processing attributes.

Keywords

Citation

Kaur, S., Panghal, A., Garg, M.K., Mann, S., Khatkar, S.K., Sharma, P. and Chhikara, N. (2020), "Functional and nutraceutical properties of pumpkin – a review", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 50 No. 2, pp. 384-401. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-05-2019-0143

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited