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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2013 Dec;68(4):403-10. doi: 10.1007/s11130-013-0391-8.

Physical, chemical, and antioxidant activity characterization of pitaya (Stenocereus pruinosus) fruits.

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Departamento de Ingeniería Agroindustrial, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Carretera México-Texcoco, km 38.5, Chapingo, 56230, Mexico, Mexico.


Fruits with red and orange flesh of the columnar cactus pitaya (Stenocereus pruinosus) were studied to evaluate physical characteristics, total soluble solids, betalains and soluble phenols content, and antioxidant activity. Fruits had, in average, weight of 179.0 g, 9.8 °Brix, 9.4 % carbohydrates, 1.25 % protein, 0.11 % ethereal extract, 0.60 % crude fiber, and 0.62 % ash. Also, fruits resulted rich in Fe (22.8-27.8 mg/kg). Hue angle and contents of betacyanins, betaxanthins (μg/g dry sample), and total soluble phenols (mg GAE/g fresh sample) were 19.8°, 2860.0, 3210.0, and 1.6 in the red material, and 28.9°, 470.0, 2670.0, and 1.2, respectively, in the orange fruit. The antioxidant capacity was higher in the red material, since the ABTS (2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid)) technique reported 1090.6 and 735.4 μmol of Trolox equivalents/g fresh flesh in red and orange fruits, respectively, while the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay reported 7.84 and 5.16 μmol of Trolox equivalents/g fresh flesh, respectively. The chromatographic profile showed five betalains in red fruits, but only four of them were observed in those orange fleshed.

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