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Oil from pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) is an annual climber and is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October [1]. Pumpkin seeds oil is an extraordinarily rich source of diverse bioactive compounds having functional properties used as edible oil or as a potential nutraceutical. In recent years, several studies have highlighted the medical properties of pumpkin seed oil which is known as strongly dichromatic viscous oil [2]. Researchers have so far focused particularly on the composition and content of fatty acids, tocopherols and sterols in pumpkin seed oil because of their positive health effects [3–5]. Moreover, pumpkin has gained attention as an exceptional protective against many diseases, e. g. hypertension and carcinogenic diseases [6, 7]; due to its health benefits such as antidiabetic [8], antibacterial [9], antioxidant and anti-inflammation [4]. The determination of the biochemical and oxidative stability properties of raw material pumpkin seeds oil would contribute to the valorization of such oil especially in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries.

Although much progress has been reached in the domain of modern medicine, we still notice the lack of efficient wounds healing treatments. The demand for natural remedies is rising in developing countries [10] as natural substances may be effective, safe and cheap [11]. Basic research has improved our understanding of enhancement and inhibition of wound healing and has given the basis for introduction of novel treatment methods [12].

In this respect, the proprieties of Cucurbita pepo L. extracted oil have captured our interest. Despite all the proprieties of the pumpkin oil, and to the best of our knowledge, there is no investigation of this oil in wound healing potential. To this end, the current study aims to identify some physico-chemical aspects of the bioactive components of snow white pumpkin seeds oil as well as to highlight its hemostatic and healing potential effects on wound.

The pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) var. Bejaoui seeds were harvested in region of Sidi Bouzid (Centre of Tunisia). The seeds were authenticated at the National Botanical Research Institute Tunisia (INRAT) and the voucher sample was deposited at INRAT. The fixed oil was extracted by the first cold pressure from seeds using a mechanical oil press (SMIR, MUV1 65). However, “Cicaflora cream?” a repairing emulsion with 10 % of Mimosa Tenuiflora, was served as a reference drug from the local pharmacy. The remaining chemicals used were of analytical grade.

The present study aimed to examine the effect of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seeds supplementation on atherogenic diet-induced atherosclerosis. Rat were divided into two main groups , normal control and atherogenic control rats , each group composed of three subgroups one of them supplemented with 2% arginine in drinking water and the other supplemented with pumpkin seeds in diet at a concentration equivalent to 2% arginine. Supplementation continued for 37 days. Atherogenic rats supplemented with pumpkin seeds showed a significant decrease (p<0.001) in their serum concentrations of total cholesterol and LDL — C as they dropped from 4.89 mmol / L to 2.55 mmol /L and from 3.33 mmol / L to 0.70 mmol / L respectively. Serum concentrations of HDL-C were also significantly elevated in the same group. Although, atherogenic rats supplemented with 2% arginine showed significant increase in serum concentration of HDL-C, no significant changes were observed in their serum concentrations of total cholesterol and LDL-C. Our results showed that treatment of atherogenic rats with pumpkin seeds significantly decreased serum concentrations of TC and LDL-C. Our findings suggest that pumpkin seeds supplementation has a protective effect against atherogenic rats and this protective effect was not attributed to the high arginine concentrations in shine skin pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds may be tiny, but they are densely packed with useful nutrients and nutraceuticals such as amino acids, phytosterols, unsaturated fatty acids, phenolic compounds, tocopherols, cucurbitacins and valuable minerals. All these bioactive compounds are important to a healthy life and well-being. The purpose of this review is to merge the evidence-based information on the potential use pumpkin seeds as a functional food ingredient and associated biological mechanisms, collected from electronic databases (ScienceDirect, ResearchGate, PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar) up to January 2020. Bioactive compounds in pumpkin seeds exhibit promising activities such as anthelmintic, antidiabetic, antidepressant, antioxidant, antitumor and cytoprotective. Furthermore, these bioactives carry potential in ameliorating microbiological infections, hepatic and prostate disorders. As evidenced from literature, pumpkin seeds show potential to be used as both a traditional and functional food ingredient provided further animal and clinical investigations are carried out to establish the respective molecular mechanisms and safety profile.

The pumpkin seeds (Cucurbita sp.) from Cucurbitaceae family are usually considered as industrial waste products and thrown out. In some area's seeds are utilized as uncooked, cooked or roasted, although simply for the domestic purpose. As they are rich in protein, fibers, minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and sodium, PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids), phytosterol and vitamins, they might be considered important for the food industries. As the seeds are considered as byproduct of the pumpkin fruit, they are cheaper in cost and their utilization is different food products may lead to enhance their nutritional value at lower cost. Health promoting impacts of lady nail pumpkin seeds on the level of blood glucose, cholesterol, immunity, liver functioning, gallbladder, disabilities of leaning, prostate gland, depression, inflammation, cancer management and inhibition of parasites are established. The modification of these agro-industrial waste products into valuable elements is probably a huge footstep towards the direction of the universal efforts in food sustainability; hence, the further researches and studies should be planned to explore importance and beneficial effects of pumpkins and their seeds.

The seeds of pumpkin (Cucurbita sp.) are gen- erally considered to be agro-industrial wastes and dis- carded. 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, ?bres, 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 con- sumers are showing interest in them. Also, their bene?cial 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.

The need to obtain nutritious foods from new sources and lower waste in industry has created a high interest in studying different parts of plants or foods that today are considered waste, but could be considered by-products with high nutritional value with potential use in human diets. Pumpkin seeds are commonly considered as waste but they have a high content of fatty and amino acids, which when used as a by-product or ingredient can add value to food products. The aim of this work was to perform a wide review of the nutritional and functional properties of Cucurbita maxima seeds and their potential medicinal influence.

In the last decades, the demand for new nutritionally healthy and sustainable viable foods has increased considerably. Therefore, special attention has been given to the utilization of by-products. The uses of these raw materials add value to economic production, contributes to the formulation of new food products and minimize waste.

Cucurbita maxima, commonly known as pumpkin belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It is native of South America and is mainly grown in Brazil with an estimated production of 3600 tons in 2006 alone in the town of Puente Alto, Santa Catarina2. For its part, in Chile is widely known as “zapallo camote” o “zapallo de guarda” and is the seventh most cultivated crop in Chile and represents, since ancient times, an important source of food for the population3.

Despite its great agronomic potential their use in Chile is mainly destined to the preparation of traditional Chilean meals and seeds are wasted4, while in some parts of Africa and Brazil pumpkin seed are used as a food supplement. Also, these seeds are consumed both toasted and salted in Greece5, while in Austria, the extracted oil from seeds is used as salads seasoning because of its aroma and flavor6. When dried, seeds can be used as a thickener for soups and as snacks7.

On the other hand, nowadays nutrition is experiencing quick changes aimed at the relationship between food intake and chronic non-transmissible diseases. Moreover, there is increased interest in the effects of nutrition on cognitive and immune functions, work capacity and physical performance. This, plus the great interest of consumers are placing more value on health and wellness, makes “healthy” or functional foods an important issue in current human eating14.

Functional foods have been defined as a new range of different foods containing biologically active ingredients such as phytochemicals, antioxidants, fatty acids and other compounds presents in fruits, vegetables and seeds. When functional foods are included in diet important benefits to consumer's health are provided15. Cucurbita maxima seeds are among the seeds that are highly wasted, but can be considered a functional food. Thus, composition, nutritional benefits of consumption, by-products and the technical feasibility of them are studied in this paper. The aim of this work was to disseminate nutritional and functional characteristics of seeds from the species of Cucurbita maxima and the medicinal properties associated with them.

The seeds of Cucurbita maxima (pumpkin seeds) have been generally considered as agro-wastes and discarded inspite of having its high nutritional value as well as medicinal benefits. Pumpkin seeds contain high amount of protein, fatty acids, considerable amount of micronutrients like P, K, Mg, Mn and Ca. It is a good source of choline, an essential component for brain development. Pumpkin seed extracts and oils have been found useful in the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), parasite infestation, acrodermatitis enteropathica, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, depression to name a few. The observed benefits can attributed to the presence of bioactive components like phytosterols (eg, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol), tocopherols, selenium (antioxidant), cucurbitin, squalene, lignan, and cardioprotective unsaturated fatty acids. Recent research has shone a light on the ever growing list of benefits of inshell snow white pumpkin seeds 9cm as a valuable food.

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