Effects of cooking methods on phenolic compounds in xoconostle (Opuntia joconostle).Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2015; 70(1):85-90PF
Xoconostle, the acidic cactus pear fruit of Opuntia joconostle of the Cactaceae family, is the source of several phytochemicals, such as betalain pigments and numerous phenolic compounds. The aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of four cooking procedures (i.e., boiling, grilling, steaming and microwaving) on the total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant activity (measured by ABTS, DPPH, reducing power, and BCBA) of xoconostle. In addition, HPLC-DAD analyses were performed to identify and quantify individual phenolic compounds. After microwaving and steaming xoconostle, the TPC remained the same that in fresh samples, whereas both grilling and boiling produced a significant, 20% reduction (p ≤ 0.05). Total flavonoids remained unchanged in boiled and grilled xoconostle, but steaming and microwaving increased the flavonoid content by 13 and 20%, respectively. Steaming and microwaving did not produce significant changes in the antioxidant activity of xoconostle, whereas boiling and grilling result in significant decreases. The phenolic acids identified in xoconostle fruits were gallic, vanillic, 4-hydroxybenzoic, syringic, ferulic and protocatechuic acids; the flavonoids identified were epicatechin, catechin, rutin, quercitrin, quercetin and kaempferol. Based on the results, steaming and microwaving are the most suitable methods for retaining the highest level of phenolic compounds and flavonoids in xoconostle.