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Foods 2018, 7(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7020024

Italian Opuntia ficus-indica Cladodes as Rich Source of Bioactive Compounds with Health-Promoting Properties

1
Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, Italy
2
Department for Sustainable Food Process, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, Italy
3
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Section of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Perugia, Via San Costanzo 1, 06126 Perugia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 18 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals: The New Frontier)
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Abstract

Natural by-products, especially phenolic compounds, are in great demand by the nutra-pharmaceutical and biomedical industries. An analytical study was performed to investigate, for the first time, the presence of antioxidant constituents and the corresponding in vitro antioxidant activity in the extract of cladodes from Ficodindia di San Cono (Opuntia ficus-indica) protected designation of origin (PDO). The cladode extracts were analysed for target determination of selected constituents, i.e., β-polysaccharides and total phenolic content. Moreover, the antioxidant activity of hydro-alcoholic extracts was assessed by means of two different methods: α, α-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging method and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. An untargeted UHPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS profiling approach was used to depict the phenolic profile of hydro-alcoholic cladode extracts. Interestingly, over 2 g/kg of polyphenols were detected in this matrix, and these compounds were mainly responsible for the antioxidant properties, as shown by the strong correlation between phenolic classes and antioxidant scores. Finally, this study provides basic information on the presence of bioactive compounds and in vitro antioxidant activities in cladode extracts from cactus that might recommend their novel applications at the industrial level in the field of nutraceutical products. View Full-Text
Keywords: food profiling; polyphenols; β-polysaccharides; antioxidant activity; Opuntia ficus-indica; cladodes food profiling; polyphenols; β-polysaccharides; antioxidant activity; Opuntia ficus-indica; cladodes
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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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Rocchetti, G.; Pellizzoni, M.; Montesano, D.; Lucini, L. Italian Opuntia ficus-indica Cladodes as Rich Source of Bioactive Compounds with Health-Promoting Properties. Foods 2018, 7, 24.

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