Pumpkin seed oil is made from the roasted seeds of garden pumpkins. It is used mainly as a salad oil, to add a finishing touch to cold and hot dishes, and in the preparation of desserts. When pumpkin seed oil is heated above 100 °C, it loses its greenish color, aromatic flavor, and a portion of its nutritional content — and it can even develop bitter substances.
From Wikipedia: “Pumpkin seed oil (Kernöl or Kürbiskernöl in German, bučno olje in Slovenian, bučino ulje in Croatian, tikvino ulje or bundevino ulje in Serbian, ulei de dovleac in Romanian, and tökmagolaj in Hungarian), is a culinary specialty from what used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now southeastern Austria (Styria), eastern Slovenia (Styria and Prekmurje), Central Transylvania, Orăștie-Cugir region of Romania, north western Croatia (esp. Međimurje), Vojvodina, and adjacent regions of Hungary. ...
The viscous oil is light to very dark green to dark red in colour depending on the thickness of the observed sample.”
“The pressed oil of the roasted seeds of a Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo var. 'styriaca' is also used in Central and Eastern Europe as cuisine.”
“Pumpkin seed oil has an intense nutty taste and is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Browned oil has a bitter taste. Pumpkin seed oil serves as a salad dressing. The typical Styrian dressing consists of pumpkin seed oil and cider vinegar. The oil is also used for desserts, giving ordinary vanilla ice cream a nutty taste. It is considered a real delicacy in Austria and Slovenia, and a few drops are added to pumpkin soup and other local dishes. Using it as a cooking oil, however, destroys its essential fatty acids.”
“In a 100 gram serving, the seeds are calorie-dense (574 kcal) and an excellent source (20% of the Daily Value, DV, and higher) of protein, dietary fiber, niacin, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. The seeds are a good source (10–19% DV) of riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, sodium and potassium.”
Seed types and oils:
“Other types of pumpkin seed oil are also marketed worldwide. International producers use white seeds with shells and this produces a cheaper white oil. New producers of seeds are located in China.”
“Pumpkin seed oil in closed containers may be stored at least for 9 months. As soon the container is opened, and the more air gets into it, the fater the remaining pumpkin seed oil loses its aroma. Therefore it should be used withoin 3 months after opening.”
“The earliest known evidence of the domestication of Cucurbita dates back 8,000–10,000 years ago, predating the domestication of other crops such as maize and common beans in the region by about 4,000 years. Changes in fruit shape and color indicate intentional breeding of C. pepo occurred by no later than 8,000 years ago. The process to develop the agricultural knowledge of crop domestication took place over 5,000–6,500 years in Mesoamerica. Squash was domesticated first, with maize second, followed by beans, all becoming part of the Three Sisters agricultural system.”
Production and importance:
“The oil is an important export commodity of Austria and Slovenia. It is made by pressing roasted, hull-less pumpkin seeds, from a local variety of pumpkin, the "Styrian oil pumpkin" (Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo var. 'styriaca', also known as var. oleifera). It has been produced and used in Styria's southern parts at least since the 18th century. The earliest confirmed record of oil pumpkin seeds in Styria (from the estate of a farmer in Gleinstätten) dates to February 18, 1697.”
“The oil appears green in thin layers and red in thick layers, an optical phenomenon called dichromatism. Pumpkin oil is one of the substances with the strongest dichromatism. Its Kreft's dichromaticity index is -44. When used together with yoghurt, the oil turns bright green and is sometimes referred to as "green-gold".”