In the last decade, the nutritional and health benefits of Opuntia
(L.) Mill.) were discussed by academic scientists and private companies. In particular, the introduction of this substance in frequently consumed foods, like, for example, pasta and bakery products, could have a wide diffusion due to its rich composition in polyphenols, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and amino acids. The identified natural cactus compounds are responsible for biologically relevant activities including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, antimicrobial, and neuro-protective properties. The aim of this paper is the evaluation of the best combination of Opuntia
quantity and process parameters (recipe) for the production of sustainable functional pasta. The results obtained show that the new functional pasta guarantees the presence of the Opuntia
quantity necessary to be considered a healthy food without altering the organoleptic and physical properties of the final product. An important indicator of a sustainable food product is its capacity to contribute to public health while maintaining a high quality of the final product. The selection of the optimal recipe was carried out by means of a multi-criteria decision-making procedure, ELECTRE III. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was conducted to assess the stability of the obtained solutions varying the ELECTRE III thresholds, showing that the results obtained are stable under uncertain conditions. Food productions are often affected by qualitative judgments in terms of physical and organoleptic properties of the final product, making the ELECTRE III particularly suitable in an industrial application in which different points of view are involved.
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