08. 12. 2019.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin is a plant of Mexican origin which has been primarily associated with animal (not human) consumption for a long time.  But, today, pumpkin is more and more found as food on our tables because it is base for preparing tasteful, interesting and nutritious meals.
With its round fleshy fruits of intense orange color and large green leaves, pumpkin is a true symbol of abundance that fall brings to us.  Today we know more than 800 different pumpkins.  Pumpkin is an important source of beta-carotene – an orange pigment that converts into vitamin A in our body and serves as an antioxidant necessary for preservation of our immune system.  It is easy to digest and contains 90% water, 1.1% protein, 0.1% fat and 5.5% carbohydrates and only 45 kcal in 100g.  It is very desirable in reducing diets as it is low-calory food and has high content of fiber which creates long-lasting feeling of satiety.
Pumpkin contains selenium which is important for normal functioning of prostate.  Juicy “meat” of pumpkin contains calcium, chlorine, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese and vitamin C.  Pumpkin oil is increasingly present in the diet because of its positive features, although somewhat “robust” flavor causes that it is usually mixed with other oils.  Pumpkin seed oil contains essential fatty acids that help maintaining healthy blood vessels, nerves and tissues.

Pumpkin seeds make 10% of total weight of the fruit, but have ten times more nutritive value than rest of it.  They are rich in many vitamins and minerals – it is interesting that, for example, seeds contain higher percentage of iron than fruit.  The percentage of protein in some species even reaches 31% and all essential amino acids are present in optimal proportions.  A handful of pumpkin seeds meet half of the average person’s daily need for amino acids and the amount of essential amino acids is higher in seeds than in flesh.  Pumpkin seeds are, along with flax seed, the best source of omega-3 fatty acids among plants.

After cleaning of pumpkin, seeds are washed, dried and stored in cool and dry place.  The shell is peeled immediately before use, but one should be careful not to remove the gray-green sub-skin layer which contains most valuable ingredients.  Seeds can be baked in the oven, thus replacing much higher calorie value “snacks”.

 

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener in the form of granules or powder.

It is sweeter than sugar approx. 200 times and used as its replacement in production of food and beverages.

Monosodium glutamate, also known as sodium glutamate and MSG, is the sodium salt of natural non-essential amino acid of glutamic acid.

In its pure form, it appears as a white crystalline powder.

Ascorbic acid, better known as vitamin C, is powder or crystal of white to pale-yellow color with antioxidant properties.

The name is derived from a (“not”) and scorbutus (“scurvy”), disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C.

Glucose is a simple sugar, monosaccharide, and is one of the most important carbohydrates.

It is used as an energy source in animals and plants. It is also one of main products of photosynthesis and serves as a starting substance for respiration.

At room temperature, citric acid is a white crystalline powder, easily soluble in water.

It can be obtained from lemon, but is usually derived from sugar by fermentation, using molds.

Carrot is a root vegetable of, usually, orange, purple, red, white or yellow color.

In ancient times, carrot was used as a medicinal herb because it contains substantial amounts of vitamins and various minerals.

Tomato concentrate is a thick paste made from mature tomatoes from which seeds and skin have been removed.

There are 2 production processes – “hot” and “cold break“. The “Hot break” process heats tomatoes to about 100° C, “cold break” occurs at about 66° C..

Tomato powder is obtained by drying tomato concentrate in several ways.

Commercially, most common are AD (“air dried”) and SD (“Spray Dried”).