Cultivar and Harvest Month Influence the Nutrient Content of Opuntia spp. Cactus Pear Cladode Mucilage Extracts
AbstractMucilage extracted from cactus pear cladodes is a hydrocolloid gum. It is a novel, natural, low-kilojoule, cost-effective texture-modifying ingredient in functional food products. Yet, the cultivar with the most optimal nutrient content and the preferred harvest times are as yet unknown. For this reason, mucilage from three Opuntia ficus-indica (Algerian, Morado and Gymno-Carpo) and one Opuntia robusta (Robusta) cultivar were investigated to determine their nutrient content over six months. Nutrients that contribute energy (10.2 kJ/g) were low. The mineral content was high (ash 17.7/100 g), particularly calcium (3.0 g/100 g) and phosphorous (109.5 mg/kg). Low insoluble acid-detergent fibre (1.4 g/kg) and neutral-detergent fibre (2.1 g/kg) values indicated that mucilage was mostly soluble fibre. Calcium oxalate crystals were not detected in dried mucilage. Opuntia robusta powders had higher protein, extractable fat and potassium content, while Opuntia ficus-indica mucilage powders had higher polyunsaturated (Linoleic and α-Linolenic acid) fat content. O. robusta Robusta mucilage, harvested after the fruit harvest (February) had the lowest energy content and the highest mineral and protein content. Mucilage powders were highly soluble, low-kilojoule and mineral-rich. This is a functional ingredient that is produced from an easily cultivated crop, as cactus pears grow in areas with poor soil, extremely high daytime temperatures and limited water supplies. View Full-Text
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Du Toit, A.; De Wit, M.; Hugo, A. Cultivar and Harvest Month Influence the Nutrient Content of Opuntia spp. Cactus Pear Cladode Mucilage Extracts. Molecules 2018, 23, 916.
Du Toit A, De Wit M, Hugo A. Cultivar and Harvest Month Influence the Nutrient Content of Opuntia spp. Cactus Pear Cladode Mucilage Extracts. Molecules. 2018; 23(4):916.Chicago/Turabian Style
Du Toit, Alba; De Wit, Maryna; Hugo, Arno. 2018. "Cultivar and Harvest Month Influence the Nutrient Content of Opuntia spp. Cactus Pear Cladode Mucilage Extracts." Molecules 23, no. 4: 916.
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