By-products of Opuntia ficus-indica as a source of antioxidant dietary fiber

Plant Foods for Human Nutrition
Sara BensadónIsabel Goñi


Dietary fiber and bioactive compounds are widely used as functional ingredients in processed foods. The market in this field is competitive and the development of new types of quality ingredients for the food industry is on the rise. Opuntia ficus-indica (cactus pear) produces edible tender stems (cladodes) and fruits with a high nutritional value in terms of minerals, protein, dietary fiber and phytochemicals; however, around 20% of fresh weight of cladodes and 45% of fresh weight of fruits are by-products. The objective of this study was therefore to determine the nutritional value of by-products obtained from cladodes and fruits from two varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica, examining their dietary fiber and natural antioxidant compound contents in order to obtain quality ingredients for functional foods and increase the added value of these by-products.


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