The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has inked a pact with Shruti Goyal, Proprietor, Swaadum Labh, Jagraon for the commercialisation of pumpkin seeds flour technology. Dr NS Bains, Director of Research, PAU and Goyal, signed the Memorandum of Agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. According to the memorandum, the University has offered non-exclusive rights to Goyal within India. This technology was developed jointly by Dr Sonika Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Food and Nutrition and Dr Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Additional Director of Research (Horticulture and Food Science), PAU.
Dr Dhatt informed that PAU recommended pumpkin variety ‘Punjab Samrat’ was used for this technology; it would encourage the cultivation of pumpkin as more value will be attached to the pumpkin crop. Highlighting the health benefits available from pumpkin and its seeds, he said it provided more avenues for crop diversification. This technology will help in market linkages of pumpkin as well. Thus, it can be recommended to food industries to incorporate this flour in their products to improve their nutritional value, he added.
Giving further details, Dr Sharma informed that pumpkin seeds are nutritionally dense but they are generally discarded as waste at household as well as commercial level. The moisture, protein, fat, fiber, ash, iron, zinc content of raw and roasted pumpkin seed flour is 6.98 and 2.80 per cent, 22.05 and 23.45 per cent, 30.80 and 31.90 per cent, 7.68 and 7.56 per cent, 8.92 and 8.04 per cent, 8.16 and 7.08 mg/100 g, 6.60 and 6.35 mg/100 g, respectively. Total carotenoid content, antioxidant activity, peroxide value of raw and roasted pumpkin seed flour, was found as 0.75 and 0.42 mg/100 g, 68.80 and 61.30 per cent, 4.60 and 6.20 meq/kg, respectively, she added. Pumpkin seed flour, used as a supplement in various food products (panjeeri, mathi and cookies) in raw or roasted form, is highly acceptable in its sensory qualities and showed significant improvement in its nutritional composition.
Dr SS Chahal, Consultant (Scientific), Technology Marketing and IPR Cell, informed that PAU has signed 238 MoAs and commercialized 59 technologies to date.