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Antioxidants 2015, 4(2), 269-280; doi:10.3390/antiox4020269

Betalains, Phenols and Antioxidant Capacity in Cactus Pear [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.] Fruits from Apulia (South Italy) Genotypes

1
Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA), CNR, Lecce Unit, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies (DISTeBA), Salento University, 73100 Lecce, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Antonio Segura-Carretero and David Arráez-Román
Received: 26 December 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 19 March 2015 / Published: 1 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Determination of Polyphenols)
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Abstract

Betacyanin (betanin), total phenolics, vitamin C and antioxidant capacity (by Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assays) were investigated in two differently colored cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) genotypes, one with purple fruit and the other with orange fruit, from the Salento area, in Apulia (South Italy). In order to quantitate betanin in cactus pear fruit extracts (which is difficult by HPLC because of the presence of two isomers, betanin and isobetanin, and the lack of commercial standard with high purity), betanin was purified from Amaranthus retroflexus inflorescence, characterized by the presence of a single isomer. The purple cactus pear variety showed very high betanin content, with higher levels of phenolics, vitamin C, and antioxidant capacity (TEAC) than the orange variety. These findings confirm the potential for exploiting the autochthonous biodiversity of cactus pear fruits. In particular, the purple variety could be an interesting source of colored bioactive compounds which not only have coloring potential, but are also an excellent source of dietary antioxidant components which may have beneficial effects on consumers’ health. View Full-Text
Keywords: Opuntia ficus-indica; cactus pear fruit; betanin; phenolic content; antioxidant activity; ORAC and TEAC assays Opuntia ficus-indica; cactus pear fruit; betanin; phenolic content; antioxidant activity; ORAC and TEAC assays
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Albano, C.; Negro, C.; Tommasi, N.; Gerardi, C.; Mita, G.; Miceli, A.; De Bellis, L.; Blando, F. Betalains, Phenols and Antioxidant Capacity in Cactus Pear [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.] Fruits from Apulia (South Italy) Genotypes. Antioxidants 2015, 4, 269-280.

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