Farah K. Benattia*, Zoheir Arrar and Fayçal Dergal Pages 394 - 400 ( 7 )
Background: The Prickly pear "Opuntia ficus-indica" is a xerophytic plant of the Cactaceae family, which represents a gold mine, can be exploited in several sectors.
Objective: The present study describes and provides basic information on the physico-chemical properties, mineral and lipid compositions of the cactus seeds from Algeria (Relizane), in order to evaluate the nutritional value of the Opuntia extracts.
Methods: The seed oil was extracted by soxhlet, and analyzed by GC-MS the physical properties were determined using standard methods of Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC).
Results: The cactus powder and its seeds showed a content of 6.42% in lipids and 91.24% in ashes. Freshly extracted oil showed acid and peroxide values respectively 2.66 mg (KOH)g and 1.5Meq (O2)/Kg. Iodine and saponification values were 199.5 g (I2)/100 g and 181.44 mg (KOH)/g respectively. Main fatty acids identified by GC-MS were linoleic (C18:2), oleic (C18:1), palmitic (C16:0), palmitoleic (C16:1) and stearic (C18:0) acids with respective contents 60.23%, 13.35%, 14.20%, 1.05 and 3.12%. Mineral analysis revealed significant levels of calcium and potassium namely 72 and 3.50mg/100g respectively, and they contain no trace of the toxic compounds (lead and cadmium).
Conclusion: The nopal fruit represents a very important nutritional value. This plant is far from being a simple cactus, it is a source of immense wealth.
Fatty acids, GC-MS, mineral content, oil, Opuntia ficus-indica, seeds, physico-chemical properties.
Department of Chemistry, Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Natural Products and Analysis (COSNA), University of Tlemcen, P.O. Box 119, Tlemcen 13000, Department of Chemistry, Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Natural Products and Analysis (COSNA), University of Tlemcen, P.O. Box 119, Tlemcen 13000, Center for Scientific and Technical Research in Physico-Chemical Analysis (C.R.A.P.C), BP 384, Industrial Zone Bou-Ismail, P.O. Box 42004, Tipaza