Cactus pear peel snacks prepared by instant pressure drop texturing: Effect of process variables on bioactive compounds and functional properties


Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) has a growing interest from both food manufacturers and consumers due to its medicinal and functional traits. Peel is a major waste from cactus pear juice industry accounting for about 38 % of the fruit weight. New concept of snacks preparation has been developed using instant controlled pressure drop (Détente instantanée controlee, DIC) techniques that provide a texturing stage between initial and final hot air drying stages. In this study, the application of DIC of cactus pear peel (CPP) was performed to be used as starch-free snacks with functional attributes. DIC resulted in high crispness CPP snacks with improved structural and nutritional attributes as well as high relative expansion ratio (up to 21 times). DIC expanded CPP snacks exhibited cutting force (3.34 N) that was much lower than untreated CPP (19.41 N). It is worth noting that optimized DIC treatment (P = 0.6 MPa for t = 15 s) allowed more availability of phenolic compounds and β-carotene by 83 and 551 %, respectively. In addition, antioxidant activity was increased up to 53 %. Results showed that steam pressure had significant effect on fat and alcohol insoluble solids (AIS) contents, wherein the correlation coefficients revealed critical relationships between structural and biochemical availabilities. Therefore, DIC could be used as an innovative technology to value this by-product leading to manufacture of crispy CPP snacks with high nutritious quality. There was a significant difference among the DIC treated and untreated CPP in respect to sensory properties, DIC treated CPP at operation conditions of saturated steam pressure = 0.6 MPa and processing time = 15 had the highest acceptability.

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ABCAR-DIC Process, La Rochelle, France supported this work providing all DIC facilities and competencies needed.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Namir.

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Namir, M., Elzahar, K., Ramadan, M.F. et al. Cactus pear peel snacks prepared by instant pressure drop texturing: Effect of process variables on bioactive compounds and functional properties. Food Measure 11, 388–400 (2017).

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  • Opuntia ficus-indica
  • Drying
  • Instant controlled pressure drop
  • Chemical composition
  • Textural attributes
  • Bioactive component
  • By-product