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Nutritional and sensory evaluation of pumpkin-based (Cucurbita maxima) functional juice

Amani AlJahani (Nutrition and Food Science Department, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Rana Cheikhousman (Nutrition and Food Science Department, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Pumpkins are a rich source of essential nutrients, namely, β-carotene, minerals and vitamins, and they are therefore suitable for making functional juice. This study aims to develop pumpkin-based functional juice and assess the acceptability of the product by various consumers. In total, 55 per cent of the panelists disliked the pumpkin juice because of its strong off-flavor. Consequently, different blends of pumpkin juice with mango, orange, strawberry and green apple juices were prepared and evaluated for global appreciation and descriptive sensory analysis.

Methodology

Pumpkins, green apples, mangos, oranges and strawberries were obtained from the local market. Four mixtures of juices were prepared by mixing pumpkin and mango juice (750/250, v/v), pumpkin and green apple juice (750/250, v/v), pumpkin and orange juice (750/250, v/v) and pumpkin with strawberry and orange juice (750/125/125, v/v/v). The contents of moisture ash, fiber, carbohydrate, crude protein and lipids were estimated according to AOAC methods. β-Carotene, vitamin C and minerals were determined. A semi-trained panel consisting of 100 members assessed sensory characteristics of pumpkin juice and mixtures using a quantitative descriptive analysis method (QDA) for different attributes.

Findings

The findings show that the moisture, crude protein, fiber, ash and carbohydrate contents indicate that the developed pumpkin juice was rich in these essential nutrients. The fiber value in our study was lower than the value previously reported for pumpkin. The content of β-carotene and vitamin C in the developed pumpkin juice was considerably higher than that reported previously for fruits. The values of calcium and iron of the current study were much higher than those previously reported in vegetable juices and mixtures. The sensory results revealed that the developed pumpkin-based juice blends are acceptable by the consumers.

Originality value

This study was carried out to develop a suitable formula for preparing functional juices from pumpkin, which is not consumed willingly by children and the elderly; the authors aimed to improve its taste and flavor by mixing it with different fruit juices. The results demonstrated that pumpkin juice is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, suggesting its health-promoting potential. Mixing pumpkin juice with mango juice or orange and strawberry juices significantly improved the sensory quality of the products. Strikingly, the formulated pumpkin juice mixtures received good acceptance and appreciation by children and the elderly, which could promote its use as a functional juice. Generally, pumpkin-based juice blends are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and can therefore be consumed as a functional beverage with potentially increased health-promoting characteristics. Using pumpkin for developing functional juices could add commercial value to pumpkins. Future studies should specifically focus on large-scale production and commercialization of these juice mixtures.

Keywords

Citation

AlJahani, A. and Cheikhousman, R. (2017), "Nutritional and sensory evaluation of pumpkin-based (Cucurbita maxima) functional juice", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 47 No. 3, pp. 346-356. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-07-2016-0109

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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