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Phytochemical characterization of different prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) cultivars and botanical parts: UHPLC-ESI-MSn metabolomics profiles and their chemometric analysis

Mena, Pedro, Tassotti, Michele, Andreu, Lucía, Nuncio-Jáuregui, Nallely, Legua, Pilar, Del Rio, Daniele, Hernández, Francisca
Food research international 2018 v.108 pp. 301-308
Opuntia ficus-indica, adults, betalains, bioactive compounds, chemometrics, cladodes, cultivars, fruit pulp, fruits, metabolomics, multivariate analysis
Prickly pear is an important source of bioactive compounds. However, a comprehensive characterization of the phytochemical profile of its aerial botanical parts, considering genotypic differences, has not been conducted. This study evaluated the phytochemical composition of four botanical parts (fruit pulp and skin, and young and adult cladodes) of six cultivars. Analysis was carried out by using two non-targeted UHPLC-ESI-MSn experimental conditions and assisted with multivariate analysis to facilitate data interpretation. Up to 41 compounds, mainly (poly)phenolic molecules, were identified and quantified, 23 compounds being reported for the first time in Opuntia ficus-indica. Phenolic composition varied significantly depending on the part of the plant. Betalains were detected only in the fruit of a red cultivar. This study provided novel insights in terms of identification of bioactives and thorough characterization of botanical parts of prickly pears. This information may be used for the development of prickly pear-derived products with high levels of bioactive compounds.