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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Aug;62(5):533-6. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2011.552569. Epub 2011 Mar 10.

Nutritive value and chemical composition of prickly pear seeds (Opuntia ficus indica L.) growing in Turkey.

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Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural, Selcuk University, Konya, Turkey.


The proximate composition and physico-chemical properties (moisture, crude lipid, crude protein, ash, and crude fiber, peroxide value, saponification value, acidity, relative density and refractive index) of prickly pear seed and corresponding oil were determined. The mineral contents (Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Na, P, Mn and Zn) of samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry. Minerals determined were: calcium 471.2 mg/kg, potassium 532.7 mg/kg, magnesium 117.3 mg/kg, phosphorus 1,627.5 mg/kg and natrium 71.3 mg/kg. The fatty acid profiles of seed oil from the Opuntia ficus indica were analyzed by gas chromatography. Linoleic acid was established as the major fatty acid (61.01%), followed by oleic (25.52%) and palmitic (12.23%) acids. Both myristic, stearic and arachidonic acids were detected in O. ficus indica seed oil in low amounts. As a result, O. ficus indica seeds are an important source of natural fiber and, given its high linoleic acid content, its oil can be used as a nutraceutic agent.

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