Amino Acid Profile, Functional Properties and In-vitro Antioxidant Capacity of Cucurbita maxima and Cucurbita mixta Fruit Pulps and Seeds
European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety,
The study aimed at evaluating the amino acid profile, fatty acid profile, anti-nutritional factors, functional properties and in-vitro antioxidant activities of Cucurbita maxima and Cucurbita mixta fruit pulps and seeds. Freshly harvested Cucurbita mixta and Cucurbita maxima fruit were processed into flour as; Pa: Cucurbita maxima pulp flour, Pi: Cucurbita mixta pulp flour, Sa: Cucurbita maxima seed flour and Si: Cucurbita mixta seed flour and were evaluated for amino acid profile, fatty acid profile, anti-nutritional factors, functional properties and in-vitro antioxidant activities. Triplicate data were analysed and means were separated using New Duncan Multiple Range Test (NDMRT) at p<0.05. The protein content of the fruit pulps and seeds flour samples were 12.77 g/100 g (Pi), 13.22 g/100 g (Pa), 15.37 g/100 g (Sa) and 16.86 g/100 g (Si). Total essential amino acid was 5.33 mg/100 g of protein (Pa) 6.62 mg/100 g of protein (Pi), 9.85 mg/100 g of protein (Sa) and 14.61 mg/100 g of protein (Si). Total essential amino acid of Pi and Si are significantly higher (p>0.05) than Pa and Sa. Statistically, saturated fatty acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid of the Pi and Si were significantly lower (p<0.05) than Pa and Sa respectively. Antioxidant activities against ABTS* (Pi) is significantly higher (p>0.05) than Pa and with no significant differences (p<0.05) between ABTS values of Si and Sa. While there is a significant difference (p<0.05) between Si and Sa as well as Pi and Pa antioxidant activities against DPPH* respectively. In conclusion, Cucurbita seeds and pulps flour contains high protein content, appreciable amount of essential minerals, lower Na/K molar ratio of less than one and they also exhibit a good free radical scavenging abilities against DPPH*, ABTS* and ability to reduce Fe3+ to Fe2+ with high content of total phenol and flavonoid.