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Fruit and juice characteristics of 30 accessions of two cactus pear species (Opuntia ficus indica and Opuntia megacantha) from different regions of Morocco

El Kharrassi, Youssef, Mazri, Mouaad Amine, Benyahia, Hamid, Benaouda, Hassan, Nasser, Boubker, El Mzouri, El Houssine
Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft + [i.e. und] Technologie 2016 v.65 pp. 610-617
Opuntia ficus-indica, ascorbic acid, brix, cactus pears, carotenoids, fruit juices, pH, provenance, raw fruit, reducing sugars, titratable acidity, total soluble solids, water content, Morocco
The fruit and fruit juice of 30 accessions of cactus pear (23 accessions of Opuntia ficus indica and 7 accessions of Opuntia megacantha) grown in different regions of Morocco were analyzed. The morphological characteristics of the fruit and the pH, titratable acidity, contents of soluble solids, total carotenoids, reducing sugars, and vitamin C in the fruit juice were analyzed. Fruit length, fresh fruit weight, fresh skin weight, fresh skin to fruit ratio, dry skin weight, and water content in the skin varied significantly within and between the two species. There were significant differences among accessions in most of the fruit juice characteristics. The ranges of measured values were as follows: pH, 3.3–4.8; Brix value, 6.2°–12.6°; titratable acidity, 0.14–0.88 mmol H+/L; total carotenoids content, 4.8–20.8 μg/L; and vitamin C content, 11.1–29.2 mg/L. The species and geographic origin did not affect the fruit or juice characteristics. Comparison of these results with those obtained for Opuntia species grown in other countries revealed large differences in terms of fruit weight, juice pH, and titratable acidity.