Opuntia ficus Indica – Description
This cactus plant of the Cactaceae family , originated from Mexico, was introduced into North Africa in the 16th century . Nowadays, Opuntia Ficus Indica grows everywhere in Morocco.
Seeds contained in the pulp, accounts for 2 to 10% [3,4]. And it was reported that oil content varies according to the origin of the seed. The Italian cultivar was about 9.14%  when Moroccan one contain between 5 to 6%. The Tunisian cultivar has about 11% , South African one 5-6% and Chinese 6% .
So, we can conclude that the oil content in the prickly seed will be between 5 to 10% according to the cultivar used for the extraction. And finally, we can say that to get 1 kg of oil, between 300 and 500kg of fresh fruits will be needed.
The oil processed from the seeds is characterized by a high degree of unsaturation wherein linoleic acid is the major fatty acid (56.1–77%). Oleic (C18:1) and linoleic (C18:2) acids can count for more than 80%  of the total fatty acids.
The sterol fraction is usually about 1% of TL withβ-sitosterol as sterol marker, representing 72% of the total sterol content in seed oil.
|Commercial name||Prickly pear seed oil|
|Botanical name||Opuntia ficus-Indica|
Specification of the Prickly pear seed oil
|Acid Value||< 4%||P.E. 2.5.1|
|Peroxide Value||< 10 mEq/Kg||P.E. 2.5.5|
|Saponification value||192-195||AOCS Cd 1-85|
|Insoluble Impurities||< 0.001%||AOCS Ca 3a-46|
|Linoleic Acid||55-65%||AOCS Ce 1e-91|
|Oleic Acid||15-30%||AOCS Ce 1e-91|
|Palmitic Acid||10-15%||AOCS Ce 1e-91|
|Stearic Acid||2-5%||AOCS Ce 1e-91|
Sterols and vitamins E composition
|Total sterols (mg/100g)||9.33||PE 2.4.23|
|Campestrol||1.0 – 2.0 %|
|Total Tocopherols (mg/100g)||100-110||AOCS Ce 8-89|
|Product description||Product specification||MSDS|
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(2) Griffiths, P., The origins of an important cactus crops, Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae): new molecular evidence. Am. J. Bot., 91 (2004) 1915-1921.
(3) Arrizon, J., Calderon, C., Sandoval, G., Effect of different fermentation conditions on the kinetic parameters and production of volatile compounds during the elaboration of a prickly pear distilled beverage. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 33 (11) (2006) 921-928.
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(5) Salvo, F., Galati, E. M., Lo Curto, S., Tripodo, M. M., Study on the chemical characterization of lipid composition of Opuntia ficus indica L. seed oil. Riv. Ital. Sostanze grasse, 79 (2002) 395-398.
(6) Sawaya, W. N., Khan, P.. Chemical characrterization of prickly pear seed oil, Opuntia ficus-indica. Journal of Food Science, 47 (1982) 2060-2061.
(7) Stintzing, F. C., Schieber, A. & Carle, R., Cactus pear, a promising component of functional food. Obst, Gemu ̈se und Kartoffelverarbeitung , 85 (1) (2000) 40-47.
(8) Ennouri, M., Evelyne, B., Laurence, M., Hamadi, A., Fatty acid composition and rheological behaviour of prickly per seed oils. Food Chem, 93 (2005) 431-437.
(9) Labuschagne, M. and Hugo, A., South Africa, oil content and fatty acid composition of cactus pear seed compared with cotton and grape seed. Journal of Food Biochemistry, 34 (1) (2010) 93-100.
(10) Wei, L., Yu-Jie, F., Yuan-Gang, Z., Mei-Hong, T., Nan, W., Xiao-Lei, L., Su, Z., Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of seed oil from Opuntia dillenii Haw and its antioxidant activity. Food Chemistry, 114(2009) 334-339.
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