Cactus stem (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill): anatomy, physiology and chemical composition with emphasis on its biofunctional properties

Rosa Isela Ventura-Aguilar, Elsa Bosquez-Molina, Silvia Bautista-Baños, Fernando Rivera-Cabrera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cactus stem (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill) is native to Mesoamerica and marketed in different forms such as fresh, frozen or pre-cooked. Worldwide, this vegetable is recognized for its pharmaceutical actions, including its antioxidant, diuretic, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties, as well as their antiviral and antispermatogenic effects. However, not all of these properties have been associated with its chemical composition; therefore, this review aims to present and integrate information available on the physiology and anatomy of cactus stem and its chemical composition, focusing on some of the many factors that determine its biofunctionality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5065-5073
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Volume97
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • antioxidants
  • ethylene
  • fiber
  • mucilage
  • phenols
  • postharvest

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