Since the school times we have been taught that colour of a object will be the color which the object reflects except that all other colors are absorbed. This might answer the question why pumpkin is orange in colour, but looking deep into science as to what contribute solely to the color of pumpkin, we will get the answer that Why Pumpkin Is Orange In Color. The color of pumpkin is orange due to a pigment called “Carotenoid”.
Why Pumpkin Is Orange In Color?
Carotenoids are the plant pigments responsible for bright red, yellow and orange hues in many fruits and vegetables. This pigment is found in the cells of wide variety of plants, algae and bacteria. Today around 1100 cartenoids are known. This pigment not only contributes to the color of pumpkin but to wide range of fruits and vegetables. In pumpkin, the carotenoids are dispersed throughout skin and flesh. This is different from a red apple which has a color localised in skin or a mango with brightly colored flesh. It is not that color of pumpkin is orange since the fruit is young. The color of fruit is usually green at the onset of fruit formation. As the fruit matures, the chlorophyll pigment is replaced by carotenoids. Color is oftenly used as a maturity index for the harvesting of fruits and vegetables.
Besides Carotenoids, there are other factors which affects the color in pumpkin:
- Longer nights than day-Longer nights allow the degradation of cholorophyll and the development of carotenoid.
- Temperature- Warm sunny days and cool nights (no freezing) accelerates the colour change.
- Moisture- The moisture in the soil should be high. If the summer is dry, colour change may be delayed.
Carotenoids are also used as a colouring agent in food industries and since this pigment is natural therefor its used widely.