Dynamics of changes in total carotenoids and antioixdant activity in fruits of selected varieties of Cucurbita moschata Duch. during storage
Keywords:Cucurbita moschata Duch, storage, total carotenoids content, antioxidant activity, variety
Cucurbita moschata Duch. is a vegetable, native to the Central America and the northern parts of South America, not very well known in Slovak republic. It is a seasonal crop which is appreciated for its nutrimental and bioactive components providing human health benefits and its option of relatively long period of storage. The aim of this study was to assess the dynamics of changes of total carotenoids content and antioxidant activity in the pulp of the fruit of Cucurbita moschata Duch. after the harvest and during the storage, as well as the effect of the variety on total carotenoids content and antioxidant activity. The experiment was realised in 2018 in the experimental fields of the Botanical Garden of Slovak University of Agriculture (SUA) in Nitra. Six different varieties of Cucurbita moschata Duch. – Liscia, Matilda, Orange, Serpentine, UG 205 F1 and Waltham were examined. The harvest was was held in the second week of September 2018. The storage took place in the hall of Departmet of Vegetable. The analysis were realised after the harvest (day 0), after the storage (day 60 and day 120). Total carotenoids content after the harvest ranged from 3.80 to 8.42 mg.100g-1 FM. In the DM the content ranged from 49.66 to 91.32 mg.100g-1 .The period of 60 days of storage had positive influence on total carotenoids content in FM, as we have recorded an increase of TCC in the case of all observed varieties. After the period of 120 days of storage we have recorded both increase and decrease, depending on the variety. The increase of the total carotenoids content during the whole period of storage was by 15%. The values of the antioxidant activity after the harvest ranged from 2.76% to 10.31%. After the 60 days of storage, we have recorded both increase in ̔ Liscia, Serpentine, Waltham ̓ and decrease in the ̔ Matilda, Orange, UG 205 F1 ̓ variety. During the following 60 days of storage significant differences were found for all the varieties in all observed variants (storage period), except for the ̔ Matilda ̓ variety. Antioxidant activity significantly decreased after 60 days of storage (by 15%), but it was followed by statstically significant increase (by 25%) after 120 days of storage. The increase of the antioxidant activity during the whole period of storage was by 6.5%, but this change was not statistically significant. The variety of Cucurbita moschata Duch. had stastically proven effect both on the total carotenoids content and the antioxidant actvity.
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