EXTRACTION OF PHENOLIC CONTENTS FROM CUCURBITA PEPO.
Cucurbita p. is a commonly grown vegetable plant that is widely available in Southern African and other African states including Nigeria. However, Cucurbitabelong to Cucurbitaceae family generally known as pumpkin consumed as leafy, vegetables, fruits, flowers, and seeds, which can then be simply boiled and eaten. Cucurbita p. contains as many important substances as possible such include calcium, iron, vitamins, oil, and protein, etc and similarly provides natural antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene which slow the process of aging by preventing free radicals from oxidizing sensitive biological molecules. Folinciocalteu reagent was used to determine the total phenolic content present in the Cucurbita p.samples. The result indicated that the total phenolic content in Cucurbita pepo fraction with petroleum ether is 17.1mg/g of gallic acid and methanol extract with12.6mg/showed high phenols while ethanol fraction was the lowest phenolic content with 8.0mg/g. The analysis using HPLC chromatogram shows the presence of compounds at 254nm and at different retention times. Therefore, Cucurbita p.is a source of natural antioxidants due to the antioxidant activity determined.
Keywords: Cucurbita plant sample, antioxidant, Phenolic contents, Lowry solutions, Gallic acid solution.