Opuntia ficus-indica as a Source of Bioactive and Nutritional Phytochemicals
Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences
Volume 4, Issue 6, November 2016, Pages: 162-169
Received: Nov. 19, 2016; Accepted: Nov. 30, 2016; Published: Dec. 23, 2016
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Authors
Imen Belhadj Slimen, Department of Animal, Food and Halieutic Resources, National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia, Mahragen City, Tunisia; Laboratory of Materials, Molecules and Applications, Preparatory Institute for Scientific and Technical Studies, La Marsa, Tunisia
Taha Najar, Department of Animal, Food and Halieutic Resources, National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia, Mahragen City, Tunisia; Laboratory of Materials, Molecules and Applications, Preparatory Institute for Scientific and Technical Studies, La Marsa, Tunisia
Manef Abderrabba, Laboratory of Materials, Molecules and Applications, Preparatory Institute for Scientific and Technical Studies, La Marsa, Tunisia
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Abstract
Cacti are known for their minimum water requirement. They grow extensively in arid lands, where they were traditionally used for both human and animal food. Opuntia ficus-indica, commonly referred to as prickly pear or nopal cactus, was known as a medicinal plant, owing to its rich composition in polyphenols, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and amino acids. This makes cactus pear a promising crop for commercial food applications. Recent scientific investigations showed thatcactus products may be efficiently used as a source of foods additives, mainly fibre, colorants and antioxidants. Tablets, cookies and other forms of fibre derived from cactus cladodes are currently marketed in severalAmerican countries. This review details the main functional phytochemicals characterizing different tissues of Opuntia ficus-indica.
Keywords
Opuntia ficus-indica, Cladodes, Antioxidants, Polyphenols, Betalains
To cite this article
Imen Belhadj Slimen, Taha Najar, Manef Abderrabba, Opuntia ficus-indica as a Source of Bioactive and Nutritional Phytochemicals, Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences. Vol. 4, No. 6, 2016, pp. 162-169. doi: 10.11648/j.jfns.20160406.14
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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