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Preservation of fresh edible cactus stems (Opuntia ficus indica Mill.) by modified atmosphere packaging

Osorio-Córdoba J1, LL Rodriguez-Verástegui1, F Díaz de León-Sánchez2, E Bosquez-Molina1, JR Verde-Calvo1, HB Escalona-Buendía1, LJ Pérez-F lores2, C Pelayo-Zaldívar1

Departamento de Biotecnología,
Departamento de Ciencias de la Salud; Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa. San Rafael Atlixco 186, Colonia Vicentina, México D.F. C.P. 09340, México.

* Corresponding Author:Address Correspondence to: Dra. Clara Pelayo-Zaldivar, Phone: (52-55) 58044600 ext. 2702; e-mail: email

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2015, 84(2), 375-384.


Cactus stems, the cladodes of Opuntia spp. cacti, are consumed in Mexico and other countries due to their fresh and herbaceous flavor, and because of their widely known nutraceutical benefits. In order to extend the postharvest life of this vegetable, the effect of a modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) was studied in cactus stems of the cultivar Atlixco stored at 4 ± 1 °C for 20 days under three types of atmospheres: (1) air (passive atmosphere), (2) 5 kPa O2 + 4 kPa CO2, and (3) N2. During storage, the titratable acidity decreased and the color of cladodes became darker and less green; however, the 5 kPa O2 + 4 kPa CO2 atmosphere was able to preserve both quality characteristics. All modified atmospheres reduced weight loss (from 8 to <2%) and the symptoms of chilling injury, and this physiological disorder appeared earlier in controls than in MAP-stored cladodes. The levels of fermentation metabolites were low in all three evaluated atmospheres. Because of this, only cladodes stored under the N2 atmosphere were selected for furthersensory analysis of the MAP effect on odor perception as evaluated by a trained panel. Results indicated that there was no detrimental effect (atypical odors) of MAP on this sensory characteristic. We conclude that cultivar Atlixco is suitable for preservation using MAP technology.


Cite This Article

J, O., Rodriguez-Verástegui, L., Díaz, F., Bosquez-Molina, E., Verde-Calvo, J. et al. (2015). Preservation of fresh edible cactus stems (Opuntia ficus indica Mill.) by modified atmosphere packaging. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 84(2), 375–384.


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