The seeds of Fluted Pumpkin (T occidentalis) locally known as “Ebumwenkhen’ in Edo language we’re analyzed to ascertain the presence of Total Tocopherol , Total phenolic and unsaponifiable matter.The methanol extracts of T occidentalis were obtained using standard analytical procedures. The quantitative analysis of these parameters showed Total Tocopherols 76.0mg/100g ± 3.11, Total phenolic 3.34 mg/100 g ± 0.15.
This result demonstrates the chemical characteristics of the essential oil of fluted pumpkin (T.occidentalis) seeds, which has been proven to possess beneficial antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, haematological, antimicrobial, anticancer and antiinflammatory properties.
1.1 Background of study
Fluted Pumpkin (T.occidentalis) which belongs to the family cucuribitacea is a tropical vine developed in West Africa as a leaf Vegetable and for it’s consumable seeds. It’s common name includes “Ugwu”(in igbo), “ikong-ubong” (in Efik) and “Ebumwenkhen” (in Edo). It is indigenous to Southern Nigeria ( Akoroda,1990). It grows in many countries in West Africa, but it is mainly cultivated in Igboland and Calabar land and it is used primarily in soups and herbal medicine ( Nwanna, Esther, et al., 2008).
The leaves contain essential Oils, Vitamins; root contains Cucubitaline,Sesquiterpene, Lactones (Iwu,1983). Iweala and Obidoa (2009) study reveals that the long term feeding of T.occidentalis – supplemented diet caused a significant increase in weight of animals which may be due to it’s Content of rich nutrients.
T.occidentalis is known to posses anti-inflammatory effect (Oluwole et al.,1995), erythropoietic value(Ajayi et al.,2000), anticholesterolemic and immune building properties (Eseyin et al.,2005a) and hypoglycemic effect (Eseyin et al., 2000; Eseyin et al., 2005b; Aderigbe et al., 1991; Nwozo et al., 2004).
The seed is a rich source of minerals such as calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc and Copper. The seed contains 47% Oil. The Oil obtained from the seed contains 61% unsaturated fatty acids which offer protective role against atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular disease (Odoemena et al., 1998).
However the ultimate success of utilizing plant protein in food formulation depend largely upon it’s functional properties some of these functional some of these functional properties include water and oil absorption capacity, gelation property, Emulsification, protein solubility, bulk density (Fagbemi and Oshodi 1991).
Fagbemi and Oshodi (1991) reported the chemical composition and functional properties of the defatted seed flour, its protein isolate nutritionally valuable minerals and compare with other oil seed flour, isolated being based in food formulation.
1.2 Justification of study.
T. Occidentalis is popular in West Africa, and it is used in typical Nigerian dishes. There are claims that the plant has some restorative properties. This study was aimed at Targeting the medicinal properties of T.occidentalis
1.3 Aim and Objective of study.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the contents of unsaponifiable matters, total tocopherols and total phenolics contents of dried pumpkin seeds.