Keywords: Antioxidant, Chromatography, Fruit juice, Opuntia , Phytochemical, Seed oil
The present study aims to design for the first time the physicochemical properties, fatty acids, tocopherols and phytosterols of cactus juice and seed oil from O. aequatorialis (O.A) and O. leucotricha (O.L) than compared with two other species widely studied [O. ficus indica (O.F.I) and O. megacantha (O.M)]. Fatty acids and phytosterols were quantified by gas chromatography; whereas tocopherols were performed by HPLC. The physicochemical results showed that O.A exhibited the highest levels of acidity and proteins. The highest Vitamin C content was recorded in the juice of O.M species. Total phytosterols and tocopherols content are highest in the seed oil of O.A and O.F.I species with β-sitosterol and γ-tocopherol, the major isoforms detected. Oleic and linoleic acids were detected in fatty acids profile. The juice exhibits strong antioxidant activity. Fruits of O.A and O.L own substantial antioxidant ingredients offering add value for functional foods and contributing to the development of food and nutritional products.
All the authors thank the purchasing and finance department of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University of Benguérir (UM6P) for their support to perform chemical analysis at the Official Laboratory for Analysis and Chemical Research (LOARC), Casablanca. The authors acknowledge Dr El Houssine El Mzouri, former Head of INRA of Settat for his assistance in the collection of the plant material. We also thank Mrs Nadia Maata Head of division Research and Development at the LOARC, and Mr Mohamed Amakhmakh technician in the Fat section for their assistance for HPLC/GC analyses and preparing the chromatograms. We also thank the Director of the Sabbar Rhamna cooperative for his help and support in the preparation and extraction of fruit juice and seed oil.