Physicochemical and Functional Properties of Cactus ‘Opuntia ficus- indica L.’ Muller Flour: The Case of Cactus Fruit and Vegetable Flour
Keywords:tuna, napolite, edible cactus, drying process, vegetable powder
This paper analyzed the physicochemical properties, functional properties and proximate composition of cactus tuna flour and cactus napolite flours prepared from cactus pear fruit–vegetable parts. Immature cactus fruit and leaf-vegetable parts were dried at 60°C, 70°C and 80°C. The cactus fruit ‘tuna’ and napolite parts of plants were dried and thoroughly milled into flour. The flours were analyzed for physicochemical properties, functional properties and proximate composition. The analyses showed no significant differences in crude protein, total lipid, crude fiber and total ash content in the flours. The results also revealed that napolite flour has higher moisture content and total solid 6.85% and 18.50%, respectively while tuna flour had higher ash (26.20%) and crude fiber (22.11%). The PH value of fresh fruit-vegetable was found to be between 6.20 – 6.65 while the flours PH value lies between 5.27 – 5.80. Functional properties for napolite flour showed water and oil holding capacity of 14.12 (60oC), 8.35 (70oC), 6.42 (80oC), and 2.02 (60oC), 2.01 (70oC), 2.02 (80oC) respectively. On the other hand, water and oil holding capacity of tuna flour were 16.24 (60oC), 10.21 (70oC), 7.12 (80oC), and 3.01 (60oC), 3.02 (70oC), 3.01 (80oC) respectively. At 60oC to 80oC a reduction of water holding capacity (54.3%) was observed in napolite flour, while 56.12% observed in tuna flour. The cladodes flours prepared at 60°C presented a higher quality regarding their nutritional and functional properties. Similarly, cactus fruit-vegetable flour had higher potential of water holding capacity and others functional properties. The physicochemical properties and functional properties of Cactus fruit – vegetable flour have good potential and nutritional value to service as flour.
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