African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6849

Full Length Research Paper

Quality of three sizes of prickly pear cactus stems (Opuntia ficus indica L. ‘ATLIXCO’)

Nora Meraz-Maldonado1*, Salvador Valle-Guadarrama2, Javier Hernández-Morales1, Socorro Anaya-Rosales1, J. Concepción Rodríguez-Maciel1 and Gabriel Leyva-Ruelas2         
1Colegio de Postgraduados, México-Texcoco Highway, Km 36.5. ZIP CODE 56250, Montecillo, Texcoco, State of México, México. 2Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, México-Texcoco Highway, Km 38.5. CP 56230, Chapingo, State of México, México.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 July 2012
  •  Published: 21 August 2012


Nowadays, the prickly pear cactus stem has become an important part of the human diet due to its nutraceutical properties. Consumers show different preferences in the size of prickly pear cactus stems. The objective of this study was to evaluate some quality changes due to the effect of prickly pear cactus stem size in refrigeration (8 ± 2°C) for six days. The hypothesis was that the quality parameters vary according to the size and the storage time. Cut resistance, weight loss, color, titratable acidity, ascorbic acid and chlorophyll were evaluated in three prickly pear cactus stem sizes (5.0 to 10.5; 10.6 to 16.9 y 17.0 to 22 cm) of Opuntia ficus indica L. ‘Atlixco’ (thorns were removed), kept refrigerated at 8 ± 2°C for six days. The smallest size showed the highest weight lost (3.22%). Content of chlorophyll a, b, and total was directly proportional to the size and it increased with the storage time during the evaluated days. Also, the ascorbic acid content decreased significantly with the storage time.


Key words: Opuntia ficus indica, postharvest, chlorophyll, ascorbic acid content.