Erwerbs-Obstbau, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Der/die Autor(en), exklusiv lizenziert an Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland, ein Teil von Springer Nature.Cactus pear fruit (Opuntia ficus-indica) have nutritional and antioxidant properties due to the presence of vitamins, fibers, minerals, and polyphenols. The present paper aims to examine the effects of drying methods (sun, oven, vacuum, and freeze) on the bioactivity and antimicrobial quality of prickly pear fruit. Total phenolic content (TPC), antioxidant (DPPH) and antimicrobial activity, mineral content, phenolic compounds, and color values were investigated. The highest antioxidant activity (DPPH) and color values were observed in the freeze-dried samples, which were very close to the values for fresh samples. The total phenolic content (TPC) of the freeze-dried sample was 503.53 mg GAE/100 g. The most abundant phenolic compound was p-hydroxybenzoic acid (210 ppm) identified in fresh and freeze-dried fruit extract, which may be more effective antimicrobials than the rest. The mineral content of freeze- and vacuum-dried samples was very close to that of fresh fruit. This study indicates that freeze-drying of prickly pear fruit improved the bioactive and antimicrobial properties without leading to nutritional loss.