Jelena Živković, Katarina Šavikin, Gordana Zdunić, Teodora Janković



Pumpkin has been used frequently as functional food or medicine. In recent years due to numerous pharmacological effects, pumpkin polysaccahrides attract increased attention from researchers. Different investigations showed their antidiabetic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, antibacterial and antitussive effect. Since most of the studies with pumpkin polysaccharides have been conducted either in vitro or in animal models, controlled clinical trials are strongly needed to confirm these health-beneficial effects in human subjects. The purpose of the present article is to discuss extraction and characterization of pumpkin polysaccharides as well as their biological potential that can impart further research developments with this plant for human health benefits.


Cucurbita maxima; Cucurbita moschata; polysaccharides; diabetes

Full Text:



M. Durante, M. S. Lenuci, G. Mita (2014): Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of carotenoids from pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.): A review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 15, 6725-6740.

G. G: Adams, S. Imran, S. Wang, A. Mohammad, S. Kok, D. A. Gray, G. A. Channel, G. A. Morris, S.E. Harding (2011): The hypoglycaemic effect of pumpkins as anti-diabetic and functional medicines. Vol. 44, 862-867.

C. Fu, H. Shi, Q. Li (2006): A review on pharmacological activities and utilization technologies of pumpkin. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, Vol. 61, 73-80.

M. Yadav, S. Jain, R. Tomar, G. B. K. S. Prasad, H. Yadav (2010): Medicinal and biological potential of pumpkin: An updated review. Nutrition Research Reviewers. Vol. 23, 184-190.

A. Villares (2014): In: Polysaccharides – Natural Fibres in Food and Nutrition (ed. N. Benkeblia) CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 171-206.

L. Yang, L. M. Zhang (2009): Chemical structural and chain conformational characterization of some bioactive polysaccharides isolated from natural sources. Carbohydrate polymers, Vol. 76, 349-361.

R. Simpson, G. A. Moris (2014): The anti-diabetic potential of polysaccharides extracted from members of the cucurbit family: A review. Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre. Vol 3, 106-114.

X. Yang, Y. Zhao, L. You (2007): Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of an acidic polysaccharide extracted from Cucurbita moschata Duchesne ex Poiret. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 55, 4684-4690.

J. Sun, G. Yin, H. Zhang, L. Chen, C. Hu (2011): Extraction of polysaccharides from pumpkin by ultrasonic method and its primary antioxidant activities research. Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 183-185, 1970-1974.

H. Wu, J. Zhu, W. Diao, C. Wang (2014): Ultrasound-assisted enzymatic extraction and antioxidant activity of polysaccharides from pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata). Carbohydrate Polymers, Vol. 113, 314-324.

Y. K. Znen (2005): Study on extraction and purification of pumpkin polysaccharide and its characterization. Master thesis, Guandong University of Technology.

J. Sun, G. Yin, H. Zhang, L. Chen, C. Hu (2011): Extraction of polysaccharides from pumpkin by ultrasonic method and it’s primary antioxidant activities research. Advanced Materials Research. Vol. 183-185, 1970-1979.

A. V. Matora, V. E Korshunova, O. G. Shkodina, D. A. Zhemerichkin, N. M. Ptitchkina, E. R. Morris (1995): The application of bacterial enzymes for extraction of pectin from pumpkin and sugar beet. Food Hydrocolloids. Vol. 9, 43-46.

S. H. Yoo, B. H. Lee, H. Lee, I. Y. Bae, H. G. Lee, M. L. Fishman, H. K. Chan, B. J. Savary, A. T. Hotchkiss (2012): Structural Characteristics of Pumpkin Pectin Extracted by Microwave Heating. Journal of Food Science, Vol. 77, C1169-C1173.

Z. Xianzhe, Y. Fangping, L. Chenghai, X. Xiangwen (2011): Effects of process parameters of microwave assisted extraction (MAE) on polysaccharides yield from pumpkin. Journal of Northeast Agricultural University. Vol. 18, 79-86.

G. Zhang, D. Su, Y. Zhang, H. Jin, P. Chen, L. Zhu, W. Wang, G. Wang (2014): The hypoglycemic effect of thepumpkin polysaccharide to the different diabetic model mice. Journal of Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology, Vol. 14, 23-27.

Y. Zhang, P. Chen, Yu. Zhang, H. Jin, L. Zhu, J. Li, H. Yao (2013): Effects of polysaccharide from pumpkin on biochemical indicator and pancreatic tissue of the diabetic rabbits. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. Vol 62, 574-581.

Y. Song, Y. Zhang, T. Zhou, H. Zhang, X. Hu, Q. Li (2012): A preliminary study of monosaccharide composition and α-glucosidase inhibitory effect of polysaccharides from pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) fruit. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, Vol. 47, 357-361.

X. Wang, L. S. Zhang, L. L. Dang (2012): Inhibitory effect of polysaccharides from pumpkin on advanced glycation end-products formation and aldose reductase activity. Food Chemistry. Vol. 130, 821-825.

G. Nosálová, L. Prisežnákova, A. Ebringerova, Z. Hramádková (2011). Suppressive effect of pectic polysaccharides from Cucurbita pepo L. var. Styriaca on citric acid-induced cough reflex in guinea pigs. Fitoterapia. Vol. 82, 357-364.

X. H. Zhao, L. Qian, D. L. Yin, Y. Zhou (2014): Hypolipidemic effect of the polysaccharides extracted from pumpkin by cellulase-assisted method on mice. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Vol. 64, 137-138.

Y. Song, Y. Yang, Y. Zhang, L. Duan, C. Zhou, Y. Ni, X. Liao, Q. Li, X. Hu (2013): Effect of acetylation on antioxidant and cytoprotective activity of polysaccharides isolated from pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo, lady godiva). Carbohydrate Polymers, Vol. 98, 686-691.

H. I. Jun, C. H. Lee, G. S. Song, Y. S. Kim (2006): Characterization of the pectic polysaccharides from pumpkin peel. LWT – Food Science and Technology. Vol. 35, 554-561.

Z. G. Qian (2014): Cellulase-assisted extraction of polysaccharides from Cucurbita moschata and their antibacterial activity. Carbohydrate polymers. Vol. 101, 432-434.

Z. Koštálová, Z. Hromádková, A. Ebringerová, M. Polovka, T. E. Michaelsen, B. S. Panelsen (2013): Polysaccharides from the Styrian oil-pumpkin with antioksidant and complement-fixing activity. Industrial Crops and Products, Vol. 41, 127-133.

B. Du, Y. Song, X. Hu, X. Liao, Y. NI, Q. Li (2011): Oligosaccharides prepared by acid hydrolysis of polysaccharides from pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) pulp and their prebiotic activities. International Journal of Food Science and Technology. Vol. 46: 982-987.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Jelena Živković, Katarina Šavikin, Gordana Zdunić, Teodora Janković

ISSN 0455-6224 (Print)
ISSN 2560-3965 (Online)

Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, the content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.