Author(s): PeaValdivia CB, Trejo C, ArroyoPea VB, Snchez Urdaneta AB, Balois Morales R
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Abstract The aim of this study was to quantify mucilages, pectins, hemicelluloses, and cellulose of nopalitos (edible, as vegetable, young cladodes of flat-stemmed spiny cacti) of most consumed Mexican cultivars, and sweet and acid cactus pear fruits of Opuntia spp. The hypothesis is that, regardless of their unavailable polysaccharides diversity, nopalitos and cactus pear fruits are rich sources of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Twelve cultivars of Opuntia spp. were used. Nopalitos had a significant variation in structural polysaccharides among the cultivars: mucilages (from 3.8 to 8.6\% dry matter (DM)) averaged near a half of pectins content (from 6.1 to 14.2\% DM) and tightly bound hemicelluloses (from 2.2 to 4.7\% DM), which were the less abundant polysaccharides, amounted 50\% of the loosely bound hemicelluloses (from 4.3 to 10.7\% DM). Acid fruits (or 'xoconostle') had significantly higher unavailable polysaccharides content than sweet fruit, and contain similar proportions than nopalitos. Unavailable polysaccharides represent a high proportion of dry tissues of nopalitos and cactus pear fruits, composition of both of these soluble and insoluble polysaccharides (total dietary fiber) widely vary among cultivars without an evident pattern. Nopalitos and cactus pear fruit can be considered an excellent source of dietary fiber. Copyright © 2012 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, Zürich.
This article was published in Chem Biodivers
and referenced in Advances in Crop Science and Technology