Ramírez-Moreno, E., Cordova Díaz D., Sánchez Mata MC., Díez Marqués C., Goñi I. (2013). Effects of boiling on nutritional, antioxidant and physiochemical characteristics in cladodes ((opuntia ficus indica). LWT-Food Science and Techology. 51 :295-302.
The young stems of Opuntia spp., known as cladodes are widely consumed in Mexico, and appreciated for their high content of fiber and beneficial effects in the metabolism of glucose. Since, boiling process is often applied to these vegetables, the objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of this process on the chemical composition, antioxidant capacity and physicochemical properties of two cladode cultivars. The components most affected were the soluble compounds (sugars, minerals, vitamin C and phenolics), while proteins, lipids and fiber showed a high retention. The losses of phytochemicals were related to the decrease of the antioxidant capacity. Cladodes presented good hydration properties inducing a non-Newtonian, pseudoplastic and thixotropic behavior in suspension. Heat treatment reduced the viscosity and gel consistency and these changes affected the physiological properties related to capacity of cladodes to hold glucose and control the glycemic response. The intake of these compounds and the estimation of some properties may be overestimated when data of raw sources are used. Further research to determine boiling conditions to minimize the changes on composition of these vegetables is necessary