: Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller is a plant belonging to the Cactaceae family adapted to live in environments characterized by long periods of drought and arid or desert climates. This plant is characterized by an aerial part composed of structures transformed by branches, called “cladodes”, which are essential to reduce excessive perspiration of water and appear covered with thorns. The composition of the cladodes includes water, polysaccharides, fiber, proteins, vitamins, fatty acids, sterols, polyphenols, and minerals. The main purposes of this scientific work are (a) to compare the insoluble fiber (IF) extracted from the cladodes of O. ficus-indica belonging to the same plant but collected in different seasonal periods (winter and summer) and develop new extraction protocols that are able to improve the yield obtained and (b) evaluate the antioxidant potential of the fiber and study possible variations as a result of the extraction protocol chosen. The first objective was achieved (1) by measuring the amount of IF extracted from cladodes harvested in winter and summer (CW and CS, respectively) and (2) by modifying three variables involved in the fiber extraction protocol. To achieve the second objective, the following experiments were carried out: (1) measurement of the antioxidant potential of IF in CW and CS; (2) measurement of cellular reactive oxygen species; (3) measurement of the activity of some antioxidant enzymes; and (4) comparison of the polyphenol content in CW and CS. In conclusion, the results obtained showed that the IF extraction process can be improved, achieving a uniform yield regardless of seasonality; the antioxidant effect may vary depending on the extraction protocol.

Antioxidant Activity and Seasonal Variations in the Composition of Insoluble Fiber from the Cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller: Development of New Extraction Procedures to Improve Fiber Yield

Carolina Muscoli;Giancarlo Statti;Jessica Maiuolo
2024-01-01

Abstract

: Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller is a plant belonging to the Cactaceae family adapted to live in environments characterized by long periods of drought and arid or desert climates. This plant is characterized by an aerial part composed of structures transformed by branches, called “cladodes”, which are essential to reduce excessive perspiration of water and appear covered with thorns. The composition of the cladodes includes water, polysaccharides, fiber, proteins, vitamins, fatty acids, sterols, polyphenols, and minerals. The main purposes of this scientific work are (a) to compare the insoluble fiber (IF) extracted from the cladodes of O. ficus-indica belonging to the same plant but collected in different seasonal periods (winter and summer) and develop new extraction protocols that are able to improve the yield obtained and (b) evaluate the antioxidant potential of the fiber and study possible variations as a result of the extraction protocol chosen. The first objective was achieved (1) by measuring the amount of IF extracted from cladodes harvested in winter and summer (CW and CS, respectively) and (2) by modifying three variables involved in the fiber extraction protocol. To achieve the second objective, the following experiments were carried out: (1) measurement of the antioxidant potential of IF in CW and CS; (2) measurement of cellular reactive oxygen species; (3) measurement of the activity of some antioxidant enzymes; and (4) comparison of the polyphenol content in CW and CS. In conclusion, the results obtained showed that the IF extraction process can be improved, achieving a uniform yield regardless of seasonality; the antioxidant effect may vary depending on the extraction protocol.
2024
Opuntia ficus-indica, cladodes, insoluble fiber, fiber extraction protocol, antioxidant properties, polyphenols
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/369141
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