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Antioxidant properties and chemical characterization of Spanish Opuntia ficus‐indica Mill. cladodes and fruits

Andreu, Lucía, Nuncio‐Jáuregui, Nallely, Carbonell‐Barrachina, Ángel A, Legua, Pilar, Hernández, Francisca
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2018 v.98 no.4 pp. 1566-1573
2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, Opuntia ficus-indica, adults, antioxidant activity, cladodes, cultivars, fructose, fruit peels, fruits, gallic acid, glucose, health promotion, high performance liquid chromatography, ingredients, polyphenols, pulp, refractive index, sucrose
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have demonstrated that consumption of Opuntia ficus‐indica Mill. has an important positive health benefit, mainly due to antioxidant properties, which justifies this research. This study examined antioxidant activity, organic acid and sugar profile, total phenolic, and physicochemical characteristics of six O. ficus‐indica cultivars growing in the Spanish Mediterranean. It should be noted that, in this study, both cladodes (young and adult) and fruits (peel and pulp) were analyzed. RESULTS: The antioxidant activity (2,2‐azinobis (3‐ethylbenzothiazoline‐6‐sulfonic acid) and 2,2‐diphenyl‐1‐picrylhydrazyl methods) was higher in fruit peel than in cladodes. The young cladodes presented an important antioxidant activity by the ferric‐reducing ability of plasma method as well as a higher total phenolic content (18.90 g gallic acid equivalent per kilogram). High‐performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with diode‐array detector analysis revealed the absence of sucrose and the presence of glucose and fructose, which the values were higher in pulp fruits. HPLC with refractive index detector analysis showed that citric, malic, and succinic acids were the main organic acids in all cultivars, with a significant higher content in old cladodes. CONCLUSION: These investigations valorize O. ficus‐indica fruits in comparison with cladodes. In general, this plant can be considered as an ingredient for the production of health‐promoting food, highlighting mainly in the antioxidant activity and total polyphenols content found in young cladodes and peel fruits. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry