Sessão 6 - Opuntia ficus-indica Mill and O. robusta cladode mucilage: Carbohydrates

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  • Tipo de apresentação: Apresentação Oral
  • Eixo temático: Advances in biochemical characterization and pharmaceutical uses of cactus crops
  • Palavras chaves: HPLC; monosachharides; mucilage; sugar; viscosity; Zastron cultivar;
  • 1 University of the Free State
  • 2 Vegetable and Ornamental Plants, Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria
  • 3 Durban University of Technology

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Carbohydrates or saccharides are the most abundant biological molecules, found mostly in plants, and serve as, among others, nutritional reservoirs and dietary fibre whose application ranges from food processing to nutra- and pharmaceuticals. Saccharides differ in both size and chemical structure. Unlike proteins and nucleic acids that are specified by genetics, saccharide chains are build up by specific enzymes. Due to the different monosaccharide composition and concentration, different saccharides usually have unique properties with specific critical roles in a product formulation. The aim of this study was to determine the total sugar concentration, monosaccharide profile (type and concentration) and viscosity of Opuntia mucilage. The total sugar concentration of Opuntia mucilage was compared to five commercial hydrocolloids currently used in the food industry. Mucilage was extracted and freeze-dried from 42 cactus pear cultivars obtained from an experimental orchard on the University of the Free State campus. The total sugar concentration, monosaccharide profile and viscosity were determined by the phenol-sulphuric acid method, HPLC and a rheometer, respectively. The average total sugar concentration was 40.15%. Postmasburg had the highest total sugar concentration (67.19%). Of the five selected cultivars for further characterization, Zastron cultivar had the highest sugar molecular weight, and its mucilage had the highest viscosity. The total sugar molecular weight corresponded to the viscosity curves. The Opuntia mucilage had sugar concentration similar to that of xanthan and guar gum but different to that of albumin, casein, and sodium caseinate.

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