Composition of pulp, skin and seeds of prickly pears fruit (Opuntia ficus indica sp.)

Abstract

The proximate composition of pulp, skin and seeds of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) was investigated and is reported on a dry weight basis. The most abundant component of the pulp and skin was ethanol-soluble carbohydrates. Pulp contained glucose (35%) and fructose (29%) while the skin contained essentially glucose (21%). Protein content was 5.1% (pulp), 8.3% (skin) and 11.8% (seeds). Starch was found in each of the three parts of the fruit. Pulp fibers were rich in pectin (14.4%), skin and seeds were rich in cellulose (29.1 and 45.1%, respectively). Skin was remarkable for its content of calcium (2.09%) and potassium (3.4%). Prickly pear is a neglected nutritional source which should be more widely used because of its potential nutrient contribution.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.

    Garcia de Cortazar V, Nobel PS (1991) Prediction and measurement of high annual productivity of Opuntia ficus indica. Agr for Meteorol 56: 261-272.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Nobel PS, Garcia-Moya E, Quero E (1992) High annual productivities of certain agaves and cacti under cultivation. Plant Cell Envir 15: 329-335.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Hegwood DA (1990) Human health discoveries with Opuntia sp. (Prickly Pear). Hort Science 25: 1515-1516.

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Enigbokan M, Felder TB, Thompson JO, Kuti JO, Ekpenyong KI (1996) Hypoglycemic effects of Opuntia ficus indica Mill. Opuntia lindheimeri Engelem and Opuntia robusta Wendel in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Phytotherapy Res 10: 379-382.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Ibanez-Camacho R, Meckes-Lozoya M, Mellado-Campos V (1983) The hypoglycemic effect of Opuntia streptacantha studied in different animal experimental models. J Ethnopharmacology 7: 175-181.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Munoz-de-Chavez M, Chavez A, Valles V, Roldan JA (1995) Plants in human nutrition. World Rev Nutr Diet 77: 109-134.

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Villareal A (1959) El nopal como forrage. Rev Chapingo, Jan-Feb: 220-225.

  8. 8.

    Fernandez ML, 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: 817-825.

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Rodriguez-Felix A, Cantwell M (1988) Developmental changes in composition and quality of prickly pears cactus cladodes (nopalitos). Plant Foods Hum Nutr 38: 83-93.

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Ibanez-Camacho R (1978) Nopal-Opuntia sp. Medicina traditional (México). 4: 1.

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Ibanez-Camacho R, Roman-Ramos R (1979) Efecto hypoglucemiante del nopal. Arch Invest Med 10: 223.

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Frati-Munari AC, Quiroz-Lazaro JL, Altaminaro-Bustamante P, Ariza-Andraca CR (1988) Effectos de differentes dosis de nopal Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire en la preuba de tolerancia a la glucosa en individuos sanos. Arch Invest Med Mexico 19: 143-148.

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    AOAC. (1980) Official Methods of Analysis, 13th edn. Washington, DC: Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Methods number: 14.004-14.006 p. 211, 14.083 p. 223, 14.103 p. 225, 7.055-7.056 p. 132.

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Roe JH (1955) The determination of sugar in blood and spinal fluid with anthrone reagent. J Biol Chem 212: 335-343.

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Southgate DAT (1969) Determination of carbohydrates in food. II. Unavailable carbo-hydrates. J Sci Food Agric 20: 331-335.

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    AOAC (1984) Official Methods of Analysis, 14th edn. Washington, DC: Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Methods number: 47.021-47.023 p. 988.

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Becker HC, Milner RT, Nagel RH (1970) A method for the determination of non protein nitrogen in soybean meal. Cereal Chem 17: 447.

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    AFNOR (1984) Dosage du sodium et du potassium. Méthode par spectrométrie d'émission de flamme. NF-T-90-019.

  19. 19.

    AFNOR (1996) Protocole d'évaluation d'une méthode alternative d'analyse physico-chimique quantitative par rapport à une méthode de référence XP-T-90-210.

  20. 20.

    AFNOR (1996) Dosage d'éléments minéraux-Méthode par spectrométrie d'absorption atomique avec atomisation électrothermique FD-T-90-119.

  21. 21.

    AFNOR (1997) Dosage du phosphore. Dosage spectrophotométrique à l'aide du molyb-date d'ammonium NF-EN-1189.

  22. 22.

    Snedecor GW, Cochran WG (1984) Classification à une voie, analyse de variance. In: Méthodes statistiques, Snedecor GW and Cochran WG eds., Association de coordination technique agricole, Paris, pp. 287-333.

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Favier JC, Ireland-Ripert J, Toque C, Feinberg M (1995) Répertoire général des aliments. Table des compositions. INRA eds. Lavoisier Tec et Doc, Paris, p. 599.

    Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Roehrig K (1988) The physiological effects of dietary fiber (a review). Food Hydrocol-loïds 2: 1-17.

    Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Fernandez ML, Lin ECK, Trejo A, McNamara DJ (1992) Prickly pear (Opuntia sp.) pectin reverses low density lipoprotein receptor suppression induced by a hypercholes-terolemic diet in guinea pigs. J Nutr 22: 2330-2340.

    Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Kakade M, Rackis JJ, Mcghee JE, Puski G (1974) Determination of trypsin inhibitor activity of soy products: A collaborative analysis of an improved procedure. Cereal Chem 51: 376-382.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christian Villaume.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

El Kossori, R.L., Villaume, C., El Boustani, E. et al. Composition of pulp, skin and seeds of prickly pears fruit (Opuntia ficus indica sp.). Plant Foods Hum Nutr 52, 263–270 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008000232406

Download citation

  • Carbohydrate
  • Fiber
  • Minerals
  • Prickly pear
  • Protein