Effect of NPK Fertilizer on Chemical Composition of Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo Linn.) Seeds
An investigation of the proximate composition and antioxidant profile of pumpkin seeds obtained from different levels of NPK 15 : 15 : 15 compound fertilizer application at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria was carried out. Pumpkin seeds were grown in 2010 for two cropping seasons (May to August and August to November), and the following fertilizer rates were applied: 0, 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 kg/ha. Standard analytical methods were used to determine protein, crude fibre, ash, fat, carbohydrate, antioxidant activities, phenol, flavonoid, proanthocyanidin, and anthocyanin. The highest concentrations of the proximate and antioxidants analysed were found from the seeds of control and those treated with lower NPK rates. The mean protein, ash, crude fibre, and carbohydrate values of pumpkin seeds at zero to 100 kg NPK/ha were 27%, 1.56%, 0.56%, and 11.7% respectively. At these same levels of fertilizer, pumpkin seed oil yield was 59%. Antioxidant activities ranged from 89.9 to 90.4% while total phenol was 47 mg/100 g. Except for carbohydrate, the % concentration of nutrients and antioxidants in pumpkin seeds was significantly () depressed with fertilizer rates above 100 g/ha.