Extraction and characterization of three polysaccharides extracted from Opuntia ficus indica cladodes.Int J Biol Macromol. 2016 Nov; 92:441-450.IJ
The chemical extraction and the characterization of polysaccharides from mucilage (MC), pectin (PC) and total pectic mucilage fraction (TFC) of Opuntia ficus indica cladodes as well as the evaluation of their antioxidant activities was investigated. The FTIR spectroscopic analysis revealed the presence of carboxyl and hydroxyl groups corresponding to polysaccharides. Uronic acid and the total sugar contents of PC were higher than those of TFC and MC whereas ash content of MC was considerably more important. In addition, the findings showed that all the samples had little protein content and low average molecular weight compared to the results mentioned in literature. Furthermore, MC reached not only the highest water (WHC) and oil holding (OHC) capacities (7.81g/g and 1.34g/g, respectively) but also the highest antioxidant properties (DPPH and ABTS scavenging activities, β-carotene bleaching inhibition activity and reducing power). However, PC had the strongest emulsifying and foaming properties. As for TFC, it had low WHC, OHC and emulsifying properties whereas it had higher foaming properties than MC and greater antioxidant properties compared to PC. These outcomes can encourage the use of PC as a surfactant and MC and TFC as natural antioxidants in food and pharmaceutical industries.