Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 91–97 | Cite as

Nutritive value of prickly pear seeds,Opuntia ficus-indica

  • W. N. Sawaya
  • J. K. Khalil
  • M. M. Al-Mohammad


Results are reported on the nutritional quality of prickly pear seeds,Opuntia ficus-indica. The seeds contained 16.6% protein, 17.2% fat, 49.6% fiber and 3.0% ash. The meal showed a high amount of iron (9.45 mg %). The contents of Mg, P, K, Zn and Cu were nutritionally significant contributing approximately 10–20% of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) of these elements per 100 g of dry weight. The amount of Ca represented less than 10% of the RDA for that element. Aspartic acid, glutamic acid, arginine and glycine were the most abundant amino acids making nearly half of the total amino acids content. The seeds were rich in sulfur amino acids (methionine + cystine). Lysine was the first limiting amino acid resulting in a chemical score of 62 for the protein. The in-vitro protein digestibility and the calculated protein efficiency ratio were 77% and 1.82 compared to 90% and 2.50, respectively, for ANRC casein.

Key words

Prickly pear Opuntia ficus-indica chemical composition mineral analysis protein quality nutritive value 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. N. Sawaya
    • 1
  • J. K. Khalil
    • 1
  • M. M. Al-Mohammad
    • 1
  1. 1.Regional Agricultural and Water Research Center, Food Science and Nutrition Section, Ministry of Agriculture and WaterRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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