Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 115–119 | Cite as

Physico-Chemical Changes In Cladodes (Nopalitos) From Cultivated And Wild Cacti (Opuntia spp.)



Physico-chemical and nutritional composition from four different nopalitos (young cladodes from cacti): Blanco sin Espinas, Blanco con Espinas, Verde Valtierrilla (cultivated materials) and a wild material from the central region of México were studied at different sizes of harvesting. The first three are commercial crops. None of the tested materials exhibited superior characteristics in all of the evaluated parameters in relation to each one of them. In various cases properties of the wild crop were comparable, if not superior, to commercial ones. Some important changes were observed in total soluble solids, water content, texture, acidity and pH as affected by size of cladode and specific crop. Most cladode samples appear to be a good source of β-carotene and lutein. The presence of these compounds is important for human nutraceutical purposes.

Key words:

Cactaceae Cladodes Nopal Chemical Composition Nopalitos Nutraceuticals 



We acknowledge Sociedad Cooperativa “Productores Nopaleros de Valtierrilla, S.C.” for providing the biological material, and Dr. Rita Miranda (Instituto Tecnológico de Celaya) for helpful collaboration on physico-chemical determinations. Technical assistance by Dr. M. E. Valverde-González (CINVESTAV) is also acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

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  1. 1.Departamento de Biotecnología y BioquímicaCentro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Unidad IrapuatoIrapuatoMéxico

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