Cucurbits Case Study

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Cucurbits belong to family cucurbitaceae, generally known as the melon, pumpkin or gourd family comprising the species of economic importance used for their nutritional and medicinal purposes. Cucurbitaceae consists of about 120 genera and 850 species grown mainly in the warmer regions of the world (1). Generally the fruits of this family are consumed in different forms like salad (long melon, cucumber, gherkins etc), sweets (ash gourd, pumpkin and pointed gourd), deserts (watermelon and muskmelon) and other cookery purposes like stews, soups (pumpkin). The common edible (pulp) portion of these fruits is utilized and the remaining unused portions are thrown as waste. The cucurbit fruits like ash gourd, pumpkin, muskmelon and watermelon consist…show more content…
Generally, Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS), Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES), Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS), etc. methods are used for the determination of the elements present in biological samples. But these methods require preliminary sample preparation like ashing, acid digestion etc. and sometimes sample pretreatments like washing, drying and grinding for analysis. These preliminary preparations are quite time taking, tedious and also increases the probability of contamination (3). Alternatively, Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technique has several advantages such as minimal or no sample preparation, rapidity, multi-elemental analysis and applicable to wide range of samples with potential of in-situ…show more content…
So, multivariate analysis along with LIBS plays an effective role for discrimination of different types of samples. Therefore, PCA which is one of the most popular chemometric methods is used to classify the samples in different groups on the basis of their compositional similarities and differences. For performing this method we have arranged LIBS data sets in the form of matrix (20x25460). The Unscrambler-X software (CAMO software India Pvt. Ltd.) is used for statistical comparison of these data sets. In the present study, laser induced breakdown spectroscopy is used to determine the mineral constituents of seed kernels of pumpkin (Curcurbita maxima), ash gourd (Benincasa hispida), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) and muskmelon (Cucumis melo) using calibration curve method. This analysis is significant in view to show that the seeds of cucurbits have good potential to be used as food or ingredients in food preparations rather than discarded as waste. 2. Sample

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