Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 223–234 | Cite as

Reviewing the prospects of Opuntia pears as low cost functional foods

Reviews

Abstract

Opuntia (prickly pear) is a genus of xerophytes belonging to the Cactaceae family, growing luxuriantly in the arid parts of the world. Recently, the pears of Opuntia have been discovered to contain a plethora of biologically active compounds. Owing to their high nutritional value, in terms of dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acid-rich oil, minerals, protein, and an assortment of other phytochemicals, the pears are gaining popularity as exotic, gourmet diet. Multiple health benefits viz. antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiuretic, hypocholesterolemic, antidiabetic, antiproliferation, immunostimulatory and antiulcerogenic activity have emerged. The review summarizes the nutraceutical aspects of the pears and the possible strategies to minimize their postharvest loss. Rich in functional ingredients, these pears are expected to revolutionize the processed foods industry and solve food scarcity in developing countries. However, no significant attempt has yet been made to benefit from this potential nutritive storehouse. This review is prepared with a vision to bolster its status as a viable food and drug supplement.

Keywords

Opuntia pears Functional food Antioxidant Antilipidemic Antidiabetic Anticancer 

References

  1. Abd El-Razek FH, El-Metwally M, Shehab GMG, Hassan AA, Gomaa AM (2012) Effects of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica) juice on oxidative stress in diabetic cataract rats. Exp Stud 1:23–29Google Scholar
  2. Aires V, Adote S, Hichami A, Moutairou K, Boustani ES, Khan NA (2004) Modulation of intracellular calcium concentrations and T cell activation by prickly pear polyphenols. Mol Cell Biochem 260:103–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alimi H, Hfaeidh N, Bouoni Z, Sakly M, Rhouma KB (2012) Ameliorative effect of Opuntia ficus indica juice on ethanol-induced oxidative stress in rat erythrocytes. Exp Toxicol Pathol doi. 10.1016/j.etp.2011.12.003
  4. Armenta RA, Pena-Valdivia CB (2009) Structural polysaccharides in xoconostle (Opuntia matudae) fruits with different ripening stages. J Prof Assoc Cactus 11:26–44Google Scholar
  5. Bañuelos GS, Fakra SC, Walse SS, Marcus MA, Yang SI, Pickering IJ, Pilon-Smits EA, Freeman JL (2011) Selenium accumulation, distribution, and speciation in spineless prickly pear cactus: a drought- and salt-tolerant, selenium-enriched nutraceutical fruit crop for biofortified foods. Plant Physiol 155:315–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bensadón S, Hervert-Hernández D, Sáyago-Ayerdi SG, Goñi I (2010) By-products of Opuntia ficus-indica as a source of antioxidant dietary fiber. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 65:210–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bisson JF, Daubié S, Hidalgo S, Guillemet D, Linarés E (2010) Diuretic and antioxidant effects of Cacti-Nea, a dehydrated water extract from prickly pear fruit, in rats. Phyother Res 24:587–594Google Scholar
  8. Butera D, Tesoriere L, Di Gaudio F, Bongiorno A, Allegra M, Pintaudi AM, Kohen R, Livrea MA (2002) Antioxidant activities of sicilian prickly pear (Opuntia ficus indica) fruit extracts and reducing properties of its betalains: betanin and indicaxanthin. J Agric Food Chem 50:6895–6901CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cardador-Martínez A, Jiménez-Martínez C, Sandoval G (2012) Revalorization of cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) wastes as a source of antioxidants. Ciênc Tecnol. Aliment doi. 10.1590/S0101-20612011000300036
  10. Cassano A, Conidi C, Timpone R, D’Avella M, Drioli E (2007) A membrane-based process for the clarification and the concentration of the cactus pear juice. J Food Eng 80:914–921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cassano A, Conidi C, Drioli E (2010) Physico-chemical parameters of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) juice clarified by microfiltration and ultrafiltration processes. Desalination 250:1101–1104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Castellanos-Santiago E, Yahia EM (2008) Identification and quantification of betalains from the fruits of 10 Mexican prickly pear cultivars by high-performance liquid chromatography and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. J Agric Food Chem 56:5758–5764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Castellar MR, Obón JM, Alacid M, Fernández-López JA (2008) Fermentation of Opuntia stricta (Haw.) fruits for betalains concentration. J Agric Food Chem 56:4253–4257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cefola M, Renna M, Pace B (2012) Marketability of ready-to-eat cactus pear as affected by temperature and modified atmosphere. J Food Sci Technol. doi: 10.1007/s13197-011-0470-5 Google Scholar
  15. Chang S-F, Hsieh C-L, Yen G-C (2008) The protective effect of Opuntia dillenii Haw fruit against low-density lipoprotein peroxidation and its active compounds. Food Chem 106:569–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chavez-Santoscoy RA, Gutierrez-Uribe JA, Serna-Saldívar SO (2009) Phenolic composition, antioxidant capacity and in vitro cancer cell cytotoxicity of nine prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) juices. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 64:146–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. de Wit M, Nel P, Osthoff G, Labuschagne MT (2010) The effect of variety and location on cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruit quality. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 65:136–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. El Gharras H (2011) Betalain: a particular class of antioxidant pigment. Nat Prod Commun 6:1425–1431Google Scholar
  19. El Kossori RL, Villaume C, El Boustani E, Sauvaire Y, Méjean L (1998) Composition of pulp, skin and seeds of prickly pears fruit (Opuntia ficus indica sp.). Plant Foods Hum Nutr 52:263–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. El-Guizani T, Tlili N, Triki S (2012) Fruit characteristics and chemical proprieties of juice and seeds of three Opuntia ficus indica cultivars. Afr J Biotechnol 11:1460–1464Google Scholar
  21. Ennouri M, Fetoui H, Bourret E, Zeghal N, Attia H (2006) Evaluation of some biological parameters of Opuntia ficus indica. 1. Influence of a seed oil supplemented diet on rats. Bioresour Technol 97:1382–1386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fernandez ML, Lin EC, Trejo A, McNamara DJ (1992) Prickly pear (Opuntia sp.) pectin reverses low density lipoprotein receptor suppression induced by a hypercholesterolemic diet in guinea pigs. J Nutr 122:2330–2340Google Scholar
  23. Fernandez ML, Lin EC, Trejo A, McNamara DJ (1994) Prickly pear (Opuntia sp.) pectin alters hepatic cholesterol metabolism without affecting cholesterol absorption in guinea pigs fed a hypercholesterolemic diet. J Nutr 124:817–824Google Scholar
  24. Fernández-López JA, Almela L, Obón JM, Castellar R (2010) Determination of antioxidant constituents in cactus pear fruits. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 65:253–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Feugang JM, Konarski P, Zou D, Stintzing FC, Zou C (2006) Nutritional and medicinal use of Cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) cladodes and fruits. Front Biosci 11:2574–2589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Feugang JM, Ye F, Zhang DY, Yu Y, Zhong M, Zhang S, Zou C (2010) Cactus pear extracts induce reactive oxygen species production and apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. Nutr Cancer 65:692–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Galati EM, Mondello MR, Giuffrida D, Dugo G, Miceli N, Pergolizzi S, Taviano MF (2003) Chemical characterization and biological effects of Sicilian Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. fruit juice: antioxidant and antiulcerogenic activity. J Agric Food Chem 51:4903–4908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gandía-Herrero F, Jiménez-Atiénzar M, Cabanes J, García-Carmona F, Escribano J (2010) Stabilization of the bioactive pigment of opuntia fruits through maltodextrin encapsulation. J Agric Food Chem 58:10646–10652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Garcia-Solis P, Yahia EM, Morales-Tlalpan V, Diaz-Munoz M (2009) Screening of antiproliferative effect of aqueous extracts of plant foods consumed in Mexico on the breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Int J Food Sci Nutr 26:1–15Google Scholar
  30. Guzmán-Maldonado SH, Morales-Montelongo AL, Mondragón-Jacobo C, Herrera-Hernández G, Guevara-Lara F, Reynoso-Camacho R (2010) Physicochemical, nutritional, and functional characterization of fruits xoconostle (Opuntia matudae) pears from Central-México Region. J Food Sci 75:485–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ishurd O, Zgheel F, Elghazoun M, Elmabruk M, Kermagi A, Kennedy JF, Knill CJ (2010) A novel (1 → 4)-α-d-glucan isolated from the fruits of Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Miller. Carbohydr Polym 82:848–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kuti JO (2004) Antioxidant compounds from four Opuntia cactus pear fruit varieties. Food Chem 85:527–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Liang BB, Liu HG, Cao JT (2008) Antitumor effect of polysaccharides from cactus pear fruit in S180-bearing mice. Ai Zheng 6:580–584Google Scholar
  34. Liu W, Fu Y-J, Zu Y-G, Tong M-H, Wu N, Liu X-L, Zhang S (2009) Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of seed oil from Opuntia dillenii Haw. and its antioxidant activity. Food Chem 114:334–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Liu HG, Liang QY, Meng HL, Huang HX (2010) Hypoglycemic effect of extracts of cactus pear fruit polysaccharide in rats. Zhong Yao Cai 33:240–242Google Scholar
  36. Marín VH, Rodríguez LC, Niemeyer HM (2012) A socio-ecological model of the Opuntia scrublands in the Peruvian Andes. Ecol Model 227:136–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Morales P, Ramirez-Moreno E, Sanchez-Mata MDC, Carvalho AM, Ferreira ICFR (2012) Nutritional and antioxidant properties of pulp and seeds of two xoconostle cultivars (Opuntia joconostle F.A.C. Weber ex Diguet and Opuntia matudae Scheinvar) of high consumption in Mexico. Food Res Int 46:279–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Moßhammer MR, Stintzing FC, Carle R (2005) Development of a process for the production of a betalain-based colouring foodstuff from cactus pear. Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol 6:221–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Moßhammer MarkusR, Stintzing FC, Carle R (2006a) Evaluation of different methods for the production of juice concentrates and fruit powders from cactus pear. Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol 7:275–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Moßhammer MR, Stintzing FC, Carle R (2006b) Evaluation of different methods for the production of juice concentrates and fruit powders from cactus pear. Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol 7:275–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Moßhammer MR, Rohe M, Stintzing FC, Carle R (2007) Stability of yellow-orange cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica [L.] Mill. cv. ‘Gialla’) betalains as affected by the juice matrix and selected food additives. Eur Food Res Technol 225:21–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Moussa-Ayoub TE, El-Samahy SK, Rohn S, Kroh LW (2011a) Flavonols, betacyanins content and antioxidant activity of cactus Opuntia macrorhiza fruits. Food Res Int 44:2169–2174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Moussa-Ayoub TE, El-Samahy SK, Kroh LW, Rohn S (2011b) Identification and quantification of flavonol aglycons in cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica) fruit using a commercial pectinase and cellulase preparation. Food Chem 124:1177–1184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ndhlala R, Kasiyamhuru A, Mupure C, Chitindingu K, Benhura MA, Muchuweti M (2007) Phenolic composition of Flacourtia indica, Opuntia megacantha and Sclerocarya birrea. Food Chem 103:2–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Obón JM, Castellar MR, Alacid M, Fernández-López JA (2009) Production of a red-purple food colorant from Opuntia stricta fruits by spray drying and its application in food model systems. J Food Eng 90:471–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Osorio-Esquivel O, Ortiz-Moreno A, Álvarez VB, Dorantes-Álvarez L, Giusti MM (2011) Phenolics, betacyanins and antioxidant activity in Opuntia joconostle fruits. Food Res Int 44:2160–2168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Özcan MM, Al Juhaimi FY (2011) Nutritive value and chemical composition of prickly pear seeds (Opuntia ficus indica L.) growing in Turkey. Int J Food Sci Nutr 62:533–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Parish J, Felker P (1997) Fruit quality and production of cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) fruit clones selected for increased frost hardiness. J Arid Environ 37:123–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Piga A, Del Caro A, Pinna I, Agabbio M (2003) Changes in ascorbic acid, polyphenol content and antioxidant activity in minimally processed cactus pear fruits. LWT Food Sci Technol 36:257–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pimienta-Barrios E (1994) Prickly pear (Opuntia spp.): a valuable fruit crop for the semi-arid lands of Mexico. J Arid Environ 28:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ramadan MF, Morsel J-T (2003) Oil cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.). Food Chem 82:339–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Saénz C, Tapia S, Chávez J, Robert P (2009) Microencapsulation by spray drying of bioactive compounds from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica). Food Chem 114:616–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sanez C, Estevez AM, Sepulveda E, Mecklenburg P (1998) Cactus pear fruit: a new source for a natural sweetener. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 52:141–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Saoudi M, Jebahil S, Jamoussi K, Salah GB, Kallel C, El Fekil A (2011) Haematological and biochemical toxicity induced by methanol in rats: ameliorative effects of Opuntia vulgaris fruit extract. Hum Exp Toxicol 30:1963–1971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sarkar P, Setia N, Choudhury GS (2011) Extrusion processing of cactus pear. Adv J Food Sci Technol 3:102–110Google Scholar
  56. Shedbalkar UU, Adki VS, Jadhav JP, Bapat VA (2010) Opuntia and other cacti: applications and biotechnological insights. Trop Plant Biol 3:136–150. doi: 10.1007/s12042-010-9055-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Shetty AA, Rana MK, Preetham SP (2012) Cactus: a medicinal food. J Food Sci Technol. doi: 10.1007/s13197-011-0462-5 Google Scholar
  58. Sreekanth D, Arunasree MK, Roy KR, Reddy TC, Reddy GV, Reddanna P (2007) Betanin a betacyanin pigment purified from fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica induces apoptosis in human chronic myeloid leukemia Cell line-K562. Phytomedicine 14:739–746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Stintzing FC, Herbach KM, Mosshammer MR, Carle R, Yi W, Sellappan S, Akoh CC, Bunch R, Felker P (2005) Color, betalain pattern, and antioxidant properties of cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) clones. J Agric Food Chem 53:442–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sumaya-Martínez MT, Cruz-Jaime S, Madrigal-Santillán E, García-Paredes JD, Cariño-Cortés R, Cruz-Cansino N, Valadez-Vega C, Martinez-Cardenas L, Alanís-García E (2011) Betalain, acid ascorbic, phenolic contents and antioxidant properties of purple, red, yellow and white cactus pears. Int J Mol Sci 12:6452–6468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tesoriere L, Butera D, Pintaudi AM, Allegra M, Livrea MA (2004) Supplementation with cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruit decreases oxidative stress in healthy humans:a comparative study with vitamin C. Am J Clin Nutr 80:391–395Google Scholar
  62. Tesoriere L, Fazzari M, Allegra M, Livrea MA (2005) Biothiols, taurine, and lipid-soluble antioxidants in the edible pulp of Sicilian cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruits and changes of bioactive juice components upon industrial processing. J Agric Food Chem 53:7851–7855CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Trejo-González A, Gabriel-Ortiz G, Puebla-Pérez AM, Huízar-Contreras MD, Munguía-Mazariegos MR, Mejía-Arreguín S, Calva E (1996) A purified extract from prickly pear cactus (Opuntia fuliginosa) controls experimentally induced diabetes in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 55:27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wolfram RM, Kritz H, Efthimiou Y, Stomatopoulos J, Sinzinger H (2002) Effect of prickly pear (Opuntia robusta) on glucose- and lipid-metabolism in non-diabetics with hyperlipidemia-a pilot study. Wien Klin Wochenschr 114:840–846Google Scholar
  65. Wolfram R, Budinsky A, Efthimiou Y, Stomatopoulos J, Oguogho A, Sinzinger H (2003) Daily prickly pear consumption improves platelet function. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 69:61–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Zoghlami N, Bouamama B, Khammassi M, Ghorbel A (2012) Genetic stability of long-term micropropagated Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. Plantlets as assessed by molecular tools: Perspectives for in vitro conservation. Ind Crops Prod 36:59–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Zou DM, Brewer M, Garcia F, Feugang JM, Wang J, Zang R, Liu H, Zou C (2005) Cactus pear: a natural product in cancer prevention. Nutr J 4:25CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyLovely Professional UniversityJalandharIndia

Personalised recommendations