Variability of fatty acid content in pumpkin seeds (Cucurbita pepo L.)


Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seed oil is a common salad oil which is produced in Slovenia, Hungary and the southern parts of Austria. It is dark green and has a high content of free fatty acids. The seed itself can be eaten. Due to its colour and the foam formation, the oil cannot be used for cooking. The content of vitamin E, especiallyγ-tocopherol, is very high. The oil content of the pumpkin seed is about 50%. The variability in the oil content is very high resulting from a broad genetic diversity. Thus a breeding programme for increasing the oil productivity is very promising. The four dominant fatty acids are palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids. These four fatty acids make up 98±0.13% of the total amount of fatty acids, others being found at levels well below 0.5%.

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Correspondence to M. Murkovic.

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Murkovic, M., Hillebrand, A., Winkler, J. et al. Variability of fatty acid content in pumpkin seeds (Cucurbita pepo L.). Z Lebensm Unters Forch 203, 216–219 (1996).

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Key words

  • Fatty acid composition
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Cucurbita pepo