Evaluation of physicochemical changes of Nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica) at different steam cooking times
Keywords:Nopal, chemical-proximal analysis, thermal effect
The objective was to evaluate and schematically characterize the physicochemical changes of nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica) due to steam cooking at different times. Cladodes were cut into pieces (25 x 30 x 15 mm) and mixed to obtain four samples of 1250 g each on a fresh basis and randomly assigned to each treatment: T1 or Control; T2, cooking for 4 min; T3, for 7 min; and T4, for 10 min. After cooking, samples were dehydrated, and then a proximal chemical analysis was performed. The data were analyzed through a fixed-effect model, and the differences between treatments were obtained by least-squares means. Correlation analysis of chemical components was conducted. T2, T3, and T4 showed higher values of protein (?16.0/ 100 g DM), lipids (?1.3 g/100 g DM), and nitrogen-free extract (?20.2 g/100 g DM) than T1; whereas dietary fiber (? 33.6 g/100 g DM) and insoluble fiber (? 22.0 g/100 g DM) in these were lower than T1. Soluble fiber decreased in T3 and T4 (5.9 and 5.5 g/100 g DM, respectively) but increased in T2 (14.5 g/100 g DM). In this study, steam cooking at 100 °C modified the chemical composition of nopal (O. ficus-indica) suggesting that cooking for 4 min might help to preserve cladode components.