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Variability of vitamin E content in pumpkin seeds (Cucurbita pepo L)

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Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seed oil is a common salad oil which is produced in the southern parts of Austria, Slovenia and Hungary. It is dark green and has a high content of free fatty acids. Due to its colour, 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 seed itself can be eaten. Therefore a pumpkin variety with high vitamin E content is desirable. The aim of this work was to find a variety ofCucurbita pepo which has a high oil yield and a high vitamin E content. A total of 100 breeding lines were tested for their tocopherol content. The tocopherols and tocotrienols are extracted with hexane and analysed by NP-HPLC/FLD with hexane/dioxan (96/4) as eluent, with fluorescence detection at 292/335 nm. The/gg-tocopherol content, which is about 5–10 times as much as that of α-tocopherol varies over a broad range (41–620 mg/kg dry pumpkin seeds).β- andδ-tocopherol are found at low levels.

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Murkovic, M., Hillebrand, A., Winkler, J. et al. Variability of vitamin E content in pumpkin seeds (Cucurbita pepo L). Z Lebensm Unters Forch 202, 275–278 (1996).

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