Pumpkin (Cucurbita sp.) seeds as nutraceutic: a review on status quo and scopes

Review

Abstract

The seeds of pumpkin (Cucurbita sp.) are generally considered to be agro-industrial wastes and discarded. In some parts of the world, the seeds are consumed raw, roasted or cooked, but only at the domestic scale. With the discovery of their richness in protein, fibres, minerals, polyunsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols, they are being regarded valuable for the food industry. The attention of food technologists has resulted in their foray into the commercial food sector. Food companies are experimenting with their incorporation into a slew of savouries and consumers are showing interest in them. Also, their beneficial effects on blood glucose level, immunity, cholesterol, liver, prostate gland, bladder, depression, learning disabilities and parasite inhibition are being validated. The conversion of these agro-wastes into value-added ingredients is likely to be a big step towards the global sustainability efforts; thus, it deserves more investigation. This review furnishes an updated account of this emerging nutraceutical.

Keywords

Pumpkin seed Functional food Polyunsaturated fatty acid Phytosterol Prostate health 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics Research CenterSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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