Analysis of factors affecting volatile compound formation in roasted pumpkin seeds with selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) and sensory analysis.J Food Sci. 2012 Jan; 77(1):C51-60.JF
Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo and maxima) seeds are uniquely flavored and commonly consumed as a healthy roasted snack. The objective was to determine dominant volatiles in raw and roasted pumpkin seeds, and the effect of seed coat, moisture content, fatty acid ratio, total lipids, reducing sugars, and harvest year on volatile formation. Sensory was conducted to evaluate overall liking of seed variety and texture. Seed processing included extraction from the fruit, dehydration, and roasting (150 °C). Oil extraction was done using soxhlet, fatty acid profile using Gas Chromatography Flame Ionization Detector, and reducing sugars using 3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid and UV-spectroscopy. Headspace analysis of seeds was performed by selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS). Volatiles dominating in raw pumpkin seeds were lipid aldehydes, ethyl acetate, 2,3-butandione, and dimethylsulfide. Compounds contributing to roasted aroma include alkylpyrazines and Strecker and lipid aldehydes. Overall, hull-less seeds had higher volatile lipid aldehydes and Strecker aldehydes. Seeds dehydrated to a moisture content of 6.5% before roasting had higher initial and final volatile concentrations than seeds starting at 50% moisture. Higher oil content resulted in higher lipid aldehyde formation during roasting with a moderate correlation between free fatty acid ratio and corresponding lipid aldehyde. Harvest year (2009 compared with 2010) had a significant impact on volatile formation in hull-less seeds, but not as much as variety differences. No significant correlation was found between reducing sugars and volatile formation. Sensory showed that hull-less seeds were liked significantly more than hulled seeds.
Elucidation of aromatic flavor development during roasting with SIFT-MS provides information on flavor release and offers better control during processing. Knowledge of volatiles in raw and roasted pumpkin seeds and effects of seed coat, moisture content, seed composition, and harvest date will allow for better control over the production/storage/transportation process and a more educated decision during selection of a variety for production of pumpkin seeds in the snack food industry.