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American Journal of Food Technology
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 170 - 176

Steamed-Dried Squashes (Cucurbita sp.) Can Contribute to Alleviate Vitamin A Deficiency

A. Demasse Mawamba, I. Gouado, M. Leng, I. Some Touridomon and F. Tchounanguepo Mbiapo    

Abstract: To promote the consumption of squashes flesh, the vitamin A potential of steamed-dried squashes from Cameroon was evaluated in determining the beta-carotene content through HPLC method in raw, steamed and steamed-dried peeled flesh of three squashes species: Cucurbita moshata cv. Dickinson, Cucurbita maxima cv. Hungarian Blue and Cucurbita pepo cv. Sacred Indian Rattle. The vitamin C and total lipids contents were also titrated with 2, 6 dichlorophenol indophenol dye and extracted with hexane in a soxhlet apparatus for 6 h, respectively. The moisture content was estimated by drying in an oven at 105°C until constant weight. The beta-carotene contents of dried steamed squashes were 2834.75±11.22; 3043.91±1.65 and 5917.83±720.49 μg/100 g serving of C. pepo, C. moshata and C. maxima, respectively. The vitamin C contents ranged from 5.70±0.32 μg/100 g serving (C. moshata) to 11.81±0.19 μg/100 g serving (C. maxima). Total lipids ranged from 6.22±0.00 g/100 g serving (C. pepo) to 7.09±0.11 g/100 g serving (C. moshata) and the water remaining ranged from 6.39±1.18 g/100 g serving (C. maxima) to 8.19±0.70 serving (C. pepo). Drying of steamed squashes seemed to result in a significant concentration of beta-carotene content (71 and 89 times higher than those of steamed squashes). The same effect was observed for the vitamin C content (about 1.7 times) and the total lipid content (6 to 12 times). These results suggest that as a ready to eat product, steamed-dried squashes could contribute to fight against vitamin A deficiency if they are well conserved.

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