|Authors: ||M. Sedki, A. Taoufiq, M. Haddouche, A. El Mousadik, M. Barkaoui, E. El Mzouri|
|Keywords: ||prikly pear, cactus, quality, seeds' oil, Morocco|
Recently, the agro-industrial value of cactus pear has known an increasing interest in the Morocco.
However, fruit size and quality are well known to be affected by the existing genetic diversity in the south-west part of Morocco, which makes it difficult to choose the fruit ecotypes that could be used for food and agribusiness.
In order to meet this need and to define the most interesting ecotypes to be grown by farmers, five ecotypes grown in three different areas were characterized using biophysical and bio-chemical criteria.
These are (localy named): Hawara (Opuntia megacantha) from Taroudant region, Imimkorn (O. megacantha) from Chtouka-AitBaha region, Achefri (O. megacantha), Aissa and Moussa
(O. ficus-indica) from Sidi Ifni region.
The results showed that Aissa and Moussa have been identified as the best ecotypes in terms of physical parameters and sensory quality.
They have higher fruit weight, size and sugar content and lower acidity :121.77 and 104.50 g, 1.34 ratio l/w, 14.31 and 13.87°Brix, 0.04 and 0.05 g/
100 ml juice, respectively.
These parameters offer better quality for both fresh consumption and for agro-industrial processing.
Concerning seed oil content, no significant differences were observed between ecotypes.
However, when considering seed oil yield per relative to the fruit weight, highest yields of oil were produced with Imimkorn and Aissa with respective yields of 0.33 and 0.34 g oil/100 g fruit.
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