Abstract
NUTRITIONAL POTENTIAL, MINERAL COMPOSITION AND ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY SQUASH (CUCURBITA PEPO L.) FRUITS GROWN IN EGYPT.

Maher Mahmoud Hashash*, Mortada Mohammed El-Sayed, Afaf Ahmed Abdel-Hady, Heba Abdel Hady, Eman Abdallah Morsi

ABSTRACT

The nutritional potential of fruits, fruit pulp and seeds of Squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) collected from Giza, Egypt was evaluated for their proximate values and mineral composition. In addition to; the total phenolic and flavonoid contents and antioxidant activities by using (DPPH, ABTS and TAC) of the defatted methanolic extract of fruits, and seeds of (C. pepo) were determined. The results indicated that the fruit pulp and fruits have a high content of moisture and crude fibres whereas, the seeds have high protein, fat and ash contents. The fresh fruit pulp and fruits had a high content of β- carotene. Although fruits and fruit pulp contained high amounts of magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, manganese and calcium but the seeds have highest values. Parallel to the results revealed the seeds have a high content of phenolic and flavonoid and also higher antioxidant activity. The results also showed a clear relationship between total phenolic and flavonoid contents with the antioxidant activity of the seeds and fruits. From the obtained results, the fruits of (C. pepo) are good alternative source of nutritional content and essential minerals which required to human for a healthy and active life.

Keywords: antioxidant activity, Cucurbita pepo, flavonoid, mineral composition, nutritional potential, Squash.


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