Antiradical activity, nutritional potential and flavonoids of the cladodes of Opuntia monacantha (Cactaceae).
This work reports the nutritional potential and the antiradical activity of the cladodes of the Brazilian Opuntia monacantha Haw. (Cactaceae), as well the isolation of kaempferol and isorhamnetin through activity-guided fractionation from its active MeOH extract. TLC, HPLC-DAD and NMR techniques were used to detect and identify the compounds. The water (91.1%), ash, protein, fibre and lipid contents (15.0, 5.4, 18.5 and 1.4 g/100 g, respectively) were shown to be quite similar to the mean values of other Opuntia spp., some widely used as food and forage. The antioxidant activity of their MeOH extract and of its n-hexane, EtOAc and n-BuOH fractions was assessed by measuring the ability of the fractions to scavenge DPPH radical, showing an activity enhancement for the fractions in comparison to the crude MeOH extract. The well-known free-radical scavenging activity of the isolated flavonoids reinforces the contribution of these compounds to the presented activity of the O. monacantha cladodes.