Folia Horticulturae

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Effect of growing method on the quality of pumpkins and pumpkin products

Honorata Danilchenko

Lithuanian University of Agriculture
Studentų g. 11, 4324 Akademija, Kaunas, Lithuania
e-mail: hd@nora.lzua.lt

The aim of this work was to investigate the effect of alternative and conventional growing methods on the quality of raw and processed pumpkin products.

It is necessary to create conditions for the production of alternative agricultural products and reduce food pollution, because of the recent change of attitude towards food quality. Pumpkins were grown at the Experimental station of the Lithuanian Agricultural University and at an organic farm in the period 1999-2001. The material consisted of five pumpkin cultivars: two of Cucurbita maxima, i.e. ‘Stofuntovaja’ and ‘Bambino’, and three of Cucurbita pepo, i.e. ‘Makaronowa Warszawska’, ‘Jack O'Lantern’, and ‘Miranda’. The pumpkins were grown using two methods: organically (fertilized with a mixture of composted manure and plant waste 40 t ha-1), and conventionally (fertilized with “Kemira Power” 500 kg ha-1). The investigation concerned biochemical composition, technological characteristics of raw pumpkin, and quality of processed products - jams and sweetmeats. In a number of cases the quantitative indices of biochemical composition were higher in the conventionally grown pumpkins. The results show that organically grown pumpkins accumulated greater amounts of dry matter (by 1.5%), β-carotene (by 0.4 mg 100 g-1) and vitamin E (by 0.5 mg 100 g-1), while when conventionally grown there were greater amounts of dietary fibre (by 2.1%) and vitamin C (by 5.2 mg 100 g-1). Pumpkin ‘Stofuntovaja’, ‘Bambino’, and ‘Jack O'Lantern’ had the best processing characteristics.

Danilchenko H., 2002. Effect of growing method on the quality of pumpkins and pumpkins products. Folia Horticulturae 14/2: 103-112.