Happy Halloween – Stability of Pumpkin Seed Oils

Happy Halloween – Stability of Pumpkin Seed Oils

Author: ChemistryViews.org

Used as a salad or cooking oil, pumpkin seed oil is a culinary specialty in Central Europe. Roasted, hulled pumpkin seeds are pressed to give the oil. A newer method is cold-pressing technology.

Consumption of pumpkin seed oil has health benefits such as prostate cancer prevention, serum cholesterol-lowering effects, retardation on the progression of hypertension, which are attributed to the unsaturated fatty acid composition and presence of minor compounds such as phytosterols, tocopherols, and carotenoids.

Maria Z. Tsimidou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and colleagues have examined the stability of cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil which does not contain the strong antioxidants formed during seed roasting. They found that its stability is much lower under both autoxidation and photooxidation conditions. The participation of α- and γ-tocopherols and squalene was of similar magnitude in both types of oils in the dark. Under light exposure the losses of these bioactive components were higher suggesting an active participation in photosensitized oxidation.

The team concludes that the health benefits of cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil depends on storage conditions, in particular, on light exposure.


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