Advances on polysaccharides from cactus: analysis and review based on bibliometrics


  • Yuhong Zheng 1Institute of Botany, Jiangsu Province and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210014, China. 2Jiangsu Key laboratory for the Research and Utilization of Plant Resources, Nanjing, 210014, China.
  • Pengcong Zhang 3Hangzhou Botanical Garden (Hangzhou West Lake Academy of Landscape Science), Hangzhou, 310013, China.
  • LI FU 4College of Materials and Environmental Engineering, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou, 310018, China



Opuntia spp, Statistical analysis, CiteSpace, Extraction, Biological activity


Plant polysaccharides are rich in physiological activities, which are beneficial for developing new drugs, nutraceuticals and functional foods. Cactus is of interest to researchers in agronomy, medicine and food chemistry because of its long history of medicinal use, its simple growing requirements and biological basis for becoming a green vegetable. This review provides the first summary and analysis of the research history of cactus polysaccharides through a bibliometric approach. Bibliometrics was used to investigate the focus of different stages of development of the topic, with contributions from different countries and institutions. In addition, keyword analysis and keyword clustering were used to understand the different research directions of this topic. The analysis showed that (1) the study of cactus plant polysaccharides is a long-established topic but did not attract much attention in its early stages. (2) In 2018, research on cactus polysaccharides has received more attention than ever before. (3) Mexican institutions and scholars have contributed the most important contributions to this topic. (4) This theme has only formed one complex network of cooperation, mainly composed of Mexican institutions and scholars. (5) Early studies on cactus polysaccharides focused on the detection, extraction and purification of polysaccharide content. (6) The biological activities of plant polysaccharides have gradually become the focus of research in recent years. (7) The biological activity of plant polysaccharides has been verified from in vitro experiments and in vivo experiments with positive results.