From prickly pear pads, a supplement for nutritional and nutraceutical - dried and powdered product

A complete dietary supplement

The composition of the mucilage contained inside the Opuntia ficus indica cladodes remains intact in the dried and pulverized presentation offered by Ficomore. Pectin and collodions are used not only as thickeners in the food industry (e.g., for jams) but also to elaborate nutraceutical products. Prickly pear cactus is also naturally vegan and gluten-free.

An aid for weight loss and weight control

Mucilages or the powder obtained from the cladodes are the basis of many weight loss products because, taken before meals, they provide a sense of satiety and reduce appetite. They also limit the absorption of sugars and fats in the intestinal tract, improving gut motility.

A potential anti-cancer product

Several scientific studies* have demonstrated the efficacy of cladodes against obesity, high blood sugar and diabetes and its potential in cancer prevention.

A load of useful nutrients

As a nutraceutical, cladode powder is suitable for various formulations, ensuring the concumption of all the nutrients contained in the fresh product, from non-soluble vitamins to fiber, minerals (calcium, magnesium and potassium) to ß-carotene, which our body converts into vitamin A, and valuable flavonoids which help protect the skin and other organs.

The dried powder formulation, its mild fragrance (vaguely reminiscent of tea) and neutral taste make it easy to use in all kinds of preparations.

*Azucena Nazareno M, 2017. Nutritional properties and medicinal derivatives of fruits and cladodes. In: Crop Ecology Cultivation and uses of cactus pea.. FAO, ICARDA.

* Proprietà nutrizionali e medicinali dei frutti e dei cladodi di Opuntia ficus -indica (L.) Mill. Mónica Azucena Nazareno Centro de Investigación y Transferencia de Santiago del Estero CONICET – Universidad Nacional de Santiago del Estero, Argentina

*Mucilage powder from cactus pears as functional ingredient: influence of cultivar and harvest month on the physicochemical and technological properties

Alba Du Toit 1Maryna De Wit 2Hermanus J Fouché 3Marli Taljaard 1Sonja L Venter 4Arno Hugo 2,