A study on biochemical properties of different parts of three Opuntia species (Opuntia ficus-indica, O. microdasys, and O. basilaris)
Keywords:Prickly pear, anthocyanin, peroxidase, carotenoid, antioxidant capacity.
Cacti are thorny plants originated from America that grow in most parts of the world. It is
used as an ornamental plant thanks to its unique fleshy and beautiful appearance. The fruits
of Opuntia are rich in antioxidants, which makes it possible for this species to tolerate
grueling adverse environments. The biochemical properties of fruits and stems of three
Opuntia species (Opuntia ficus-indica, O. microdasys, and O. basilaris) were studied in a
trial based on a completely randomized design with three replications. The intended traits
were estimated for the tissues of stems and fruits. They included total protein, dissolved
sugar, enzymatic antioxidants like catalase and peroxidase, anthocyanin content,
carotenoid, chlorophyll, pH, total acidity, vitamin C and Brix degrees content in the juice.
The results revealed that the stems and fruits of O. ficus-indica had the highest carotenoid
and chlorophyll a, the stems of O. microdasys had the highest antioxidant capacity,
anthocyanin, carotenoid, chlorophyll, peroxidase, and protein, and the fruits of O. basilaris
had the lowest antioxidant capacity, anthocyanin, catalase, peroxidase, and Brix.