Chemical and Physicochemical Characterization of Winter Squash (Cucurbita moschata D.)
Keywords:carotenoids; fiber; minerals; squash; total phenolic content
Winter squash cv 'Cehualca' (Cucurbita moschata Duchesne) is a seasonal crop that has been used as food and animal feed. The objective of the present study was to characterize physical, chemical and physicochemical properties of the winter squash cv 'Cehualca'. Morphological, chemical and physicochemical analyses were performed, including fiber, carotenoids, phenolic and mineral contents in the winter squash. The morphological analysis showed that the squash 'Cehualca' did not have a homogeneous morphology. Data about their physical and physicochemical characteristics showed large variability. Also, high content of carotenoids and dietary fiber was observed in squash. The oil and total phenolic content was low in comparison with other fruits. The mineral content exceeded the values recommended to meet the nutritional needs of consumers, except for sodium (both in pulp and shell), potassium and magnesium in the shell.
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