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Journal of Food Quality
Volume 2017, Article ID 3075907, 8 pages
Research Article

Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties of Cactus Pear (Opuntia) Seed Oils

1Academic Area of Nutrition, Health Sciences Institute, Autonomous University of Hidalgo State, 42160 Pachuca, HGO, Mexico
2Academic Area of Medicine, Autonomous University of Hidalgo State, Eliseo Ramírez Ulloa 400, 42090 Pachuca, HGO, Mexico
3Department of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
4Academic Area of Chemistry, Basic Science and Engineering Institute, Autonomous University of Hidalgo State, Carretera Pachuca-Tulancingo Km. 4.5, Mineral de la Reforma, 42183 Pachuca, HGO, Mexico

Correspondence should be addressed to Nelly del Socorro Cruz-Cansino; xm.ude.heau@zurcn

Received 23 January 2017; Accepted 5 April 2017; Published 26 April 2017

Academic Editor: Andrea Lauková

Copyright © 2017 Esther Ramírez-Moreno et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Seed oils from two Mexican varieties of cactus pear (green: Opuntia albicarpa and red: Opuntia ficus indica) were extracted with different solvents (hexane, ethanol, and ethyl acetate) to evaluate their antioxidant activity. The seed oil with higher antioxidant activity was selected to evaluate antimicrobial activity. The fatty acid profile was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Oil from green cactus pear seeds obtained with ethanol and ethyl acetate exhibited higher antioxidant activity () of 323 and 316 μmol TE/20 mg (p < 0.05), respectively, compared to red cactus pear seed oil (≈274 and 247 μmol TE/20 mg with ethyl acetate and ethanol, resp.). The oil obtained with ethanol and higher antioxidant activity was used to determine the antimicrobial activity. Both cactus pear oils produced a microbial inhibition zone in most of the microorganisms evaluated, particularly Saccharomyces cerevisiae which had similar diameter (38–40 mm). The oil fatty acids profiles of both varieties were similar and exhibited a high content of linoleic acid, while two fatty acids (linolenic and behenic) found in red cactus pear were not observed in the green variety.