Knowledge for Development

Biofortified, selenium enriched, fruit and cladode from three Opuntia Cactus pear cultivars grown on agricultural drainage sediment for use in nutraceutical foods


Date: 12/07/2012


Three different cultivars of drought, salt and boron tolerant Opuntia ficus indica (Cactus pear) were grown in poor-quality agricultural drainage sediment high in salt, boron and selenium that originated from the Westside San Joaquin Valley, US. Nutritional contents were then measured in these Cactus pear fruit, and vegetative cladodes compared to the same cultivars grown adjacent on a low saline sandy loam soil. After harvesting fruit and cladodes, the mineral nutrients status were analyzed. The results demonstrated positive nutritional changes in both cladodes and fruit within the Cactus pear cultivars when grown on agricultural drainage sediment compared to those grown on normal soil. Under these conditions Cactus pear plants contained nutraceutical qualities and represent a useful anticarcinogenic selenium-enriched chemotherapeutic food crop for providing advanced dietary seleno-pharmacology in order to help fight human diseases. (Thanks, 18/6/2012)