Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Search results for: opuntia ficus-indica

16 Anti-Melanogenesis and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Opuntia humifusa

Authors: Yonghwa Lee, Yoon Suk Kim, Yongsub Yi


This study was to confirm the effects of anti-melanogenesis and anti-inflammatory effects from Opuntia humifusa fruit and stem extracts. A potent anti-oxidant activity was shown from the leaf extract at IC50 value of 38.33±1.07 μg/mL and fruit extract at IC50 value of 40.23±2.21 μg/mL by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. Also, phenolic contents were confirmed total phenolic assay by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Fraction of taxifolin from leaf extract was identified using HPLC and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The extracts of Opuntia humifusa fruit and stem were confirmed about toxicity effect in B16 F1 by cell viability. Melanin contents were decreased. Opuntia humifusa fruit and stem extracts had a positive effect of melanin synthesis inhibition for skin whitening. In investigating the anti-inflammatory activities of Opuntia humifusa, the results of cell viability indicated that taxifolin did not show cytotoxicity on RAW264.7 cells at 500 μM of concentration. The results show that taxifolin inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of Nitrite oxide (NO). In addition, taxifolin indicated the inhibition of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced tumor necrosis factor (TNF) -α and interleukin (IL) -6 productions by cytokine assay and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression by western blot analysis, meaning that taxifolin had a significant anti-inflammatory effect. Our results suggested that taxifolin from Opuntia humifusa has anti-melanogenesis and anti-inflammatory activities.

Keywords: anti-melanogenesis, anti-inflammatory, Opuntia humifusa, taxifolin

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15 Nutritional and Functional Composition of Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill.) Grown in Algeria

Authors: Kamel Cheriet


In Algeria, Opuntia ficus Indica production is important. This seasonal fruit is a characteristic of arid and semi-arid regions. Taking into account its high content in antioxidants, it has an excellent nutritional value. The aim of this research is the prickly pear morphological and physicochemical characterization study which is widely present in the Arris (Batna, Algeria) area. The results of this experimental study are comparative to those of the same species from other world regions. The whole fruit weight is estimated to reach 63.38 g with a juice ratio of 71.42%, a pH of 5.54, moisture of 89.3% and a brix of 10.4°. The quantitative amount of the phenolic compounds of the fruit revealed contents of 20.65-45.70 mg / 100 g of MF for total polyphenols and 0.519 -0.591 mg / 100 g of MF for the flavonoids.

Keywords: functional composition, nutritionals properties, opuntia ficus indica, phenolic compounds

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14 Correlation between Total Polyphenol Content and Antimicrobial Activity of Opuntia ficus indica Extracts against Periodontopathogenic Bacteria

Authors: N. Chikhi-Chorfi, L. Arbia, S. Zenia, H.Lounici


Opuntia ficus-indica belongs to the Cactaceae family. The cactus is mainly cultivated for its fruit (prickly pear) that, eaten after pealing, is sweet and juicy, and rich in nutritional compounds, such as ascorbic acid and polyphenols. Different parts of O. ficus-indica are used in the traditional medicine of several countries: the cladodes are utilized to reduce serum cholesterol level and blood pressure, for treatment of ulcers, rheumatic pain, wounds, fatigue, capillary fragility, and liver conditions. This original study, investigate the effect of polyphenols of O. ficus indica (cactus) cladodes against periodontal bacteria collected from patients with periodontitis. The quantitative analysis of total polyphenols (TPP) was determined with Follin-Ciocalteu method. Different concentrations of extracts of O. ficus indica were tested by the disk method on two bacterial strains: Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia responsible for periodontal disease. The results showed a good correlation between the concentration of total polyphenols and the antibacterial activity of the extracts of Opuntia ficus indica against P. gingivalis and P. intermedia with R² = 0.94 and R² = 0.90 respectively. This observation suggests that these extracts could be used in the treatment and prevention of periodontitis.

Keywords: periodontal disease, P. gingivalis, P. intermedia, polyphenols, Opuntia ficus indica

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13 Evolution of Bioactive Components of Prickly Pear Juice (Opuntia ficus indica) and Cocktails with Orange Juice

Authors: T. Hadj Sadok, R. Hattab Bey, K. Rebiha


The valuation of juice from prickly pear of Opuntia ficus indica inermis as cocktails appears an attractive alternative because of their nutritional intake and functional compound has anti-radical activity (polyphenols, vitamin C, carotenoids, Betalaines, fiber and minerals). The juice from the fruit pulp is characterized by a high pH 5.85 which makes it difficult for its conservation and preservation requires a thermal treatment at high temperatures (over 100 °C) harmful for bioactive constituents compared to juice orange more acidic and processed at temperatures < 100 °C. The valuation as fig cocktails-orange is particularly interesting thanks to the contribution of polyph2nols, fiber, vitamin C, reducing sugar (sweetener) and betalaine, minerals while allowing lower temperature processing to decrease pH. The heat treatment of these juices: orange alone or in cocktails showed that the antioxidant power decreases by 12% in presence of 30% of juice treated by the heat and of 28 and 32% in the presence of 10 and 20% juice which shows the effect prickly pear juice of Opuntia. During storage for 4 weeks the loss of vitamin C is 40 and 38% in the presence of 10 and 20% juice and 33% in the presence of 30% pear juice parallel, a treatment of stabilization by heat affects relatively the polyphenols rate which decreases from 10.5% to 30% in the cocktail, and 6.11-6.71pour cocktails at 10% and 20%. Vitamin C decreases to 12 to 24 % after a heat treatment at 85°C for 30 minutes respectively for the orange juice and pear juice; this reduction is higher when the juice is in the form of cocktails composed of 10 to 30 % pear juice.

Keywords: prickly pear juice, orange cocktail, polyphenol, Opuntia ficus indica, vitamin

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12 Effects of Opuntia ficus-indica var. Saboten on Glucose Uptake and Insulin Sensitivity in Pancreatic β Cell

Authors: Kang-Hyun Leem, Myung-Gyou Kim, Hye Kyung Kim


The prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) has a global distribution and have been used for medicinal benefits such as artherosclerosis, diabetes, gastritis, and hyperglycemia. However, very little information is currently available for their mechanism. The prikly pear variety Opuntia ficus-indica var. Saboten (OFS) is widely cultivated in Cheju Island, southwestern region of Korea, and used as a functional food. Present study investigated the effects of OFS on pancreatic β-cell function using pancreatic islet β cells (HIT cell). Alpha-glucosidase inhibition, glucose uptake, insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity, and pancreatic β cell proliferation were determined. The inhibitory effect of ethanol extract of OFS stem on α-glucosidase enzyme was measured in a cell free system. Glucose uptake was determined using fluorescent glucose analogue, 2-NBDG. Insulin secretion was measured by ELISA assay. Cell proliferation was measured by MTT assay. Ethanol extracts of OFS dose-dependently inhibited α-glucosidase activity as well as glucose uptake. Insulinotrophic effect of OFS extract was observed at high glucose media in pancreatic β-islet cells. Furthermore, pancreatic β cell regeneration was also observed.These results suggest that OFS mediates the antidiabetic activity mainly via α-glucosidase inhibition, glucose uptake, and improved insulin sensitivity.

Keywords: prickly pear cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica var. Saboten, pancreatic islet HIT cells, α-glucosidase, glucose uptake, insulinotrophic

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11 Nutritional and Antioxidant Properties of Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus indica Mill.) Grown in Algeria

Authors: Asma Temagoult, Bariza Zitouni, Yassin Noui


Cactus fruit contains different nutritional and functional components, which are used because of their benefits to human health, such as flavonoids, phenolic compounds, carotenoids and vitamins C. It has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic action, and antioxidant properties related to anticarcinogenic, antiulcerogenic and immunomodulatory effects. The antioxidant and nutritional properties have been characterized in cactus prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill.), cultivar yellow, grown in Arris area; Eastern of Algeria. The antioxidant properties of this cactus cultivar were higher than the others cactus cultivar in the world. The amount of fruit phenolic compounds revealed contents between 20.65 and 45.70 mg / 100 g of FW for total polyphenols and 0.519 - 0.591 mg / 100 g of FW for the flavonoids. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH radical scavenging and FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant power) methods. The average recorded to the potassium content is about 1070 mg / 100 g of the fresh weight; sodium is 60.7 mg / 100 g of the fresh weight and 80 mg / 100g for the calcium. According to the high value of this cactus, it was considered as a good nutrient and important pharmaceutical resource. It could be used as a natural additive or substituted food supplement in many foodstuffs production, to benefit from these benefits.

Keywords: antioxidant properties, DPPH, FRAP, nutritional properties, Opuntia ficus indica

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10 Opuntia ficus-indica var. Saboten Stimulates Adipogenesis, Lipolysis, and Glucose Uptake in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes

Authors: Hye Kyung Kim, Myung-Gyou Kim, Kang-Hyun Leem


The prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) has a global distribution and has been used for medicinal benefits such as artherosclerosis, diabetes, gastritis, and hyperglycemia. The prickly pear variety Opuntia ficus-indica var. Saboten (OFS) is widely cultivated in Cheju Island, the southwestern region of Korea, and used as a functional food. The present study investigated the effects of OFS on adipogenesis, lipolysis, glucose uptake, and glucose transporter (GLUT4) expression using preadipocyte 3T3-L1 cells. Adipogenesis was determined by preadipocyte differentiation and triglyceride accumulation assessed by Oil Red O staining. Lipolysis was determined as the rate of glycerol release. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and GLUT4 expression were measured using fluorescent glucose analogue, 2-NBDG, and ELISA, respectively. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR was performed to investigate the effects of OFS on the mRNA expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), a regulator of adipocyte differentiation. Ethanol extracts of OFS dose-dependently enhanced adipocyte differentiation and cellular triglyceride levels indicating the enhancement of the differentiation of preadipocytes into adipocytes. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and GLUT4 expression were also dose-dependently increased by OFS treatment. Furthermore, OFS treatment also increased the mRNA levels of PPARγ. These effects of OFS on adipocytes suggest that OFS is potentially beneficial for type 2 diabetes by due to its enhanced glucose uptake and balanced adipogenesis and lipolysis properties.

Keywords: 3T3-L1 preadipocyte cell, adipogenesis, GLUT4, lipolysis, Opuntia ficus-indica var. Saboten, PPARγ, prickly pear cactus

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9 Optimization of Digestive Conditions of Opuntia ficus-indica var. Saboten using Food-Grade Enzymes

Authors: Byung Wook Yang, Sae Kyul Kim, Seung Il Ahn, Jae Hee Choi, Heejung Jung, Yejin Choi, Byung Yong Kim, Young Tae Hahm


Opuntia ficus-indica is a member of the Cactaceae family that is widely grown in all the semiarid countries throughout the world. Opuntia ficus-indica var. Saboten (OFS), commonly known as prickly pear cactus, is commercially cultivated as a dietary foodstuffs and medicinal stuffs in Jeju Island, Korea. Owing to high viscosity of OFS’ pad, its application to the commercial field has been limited. When the low viscosity of OFS’s pad is obtained, it is useful for the manufacture of healthy food in the related field. This study was performed to obtain the optimal digestion conditions of food-grade enzymes (Pectinex, Viscozyme and Celluclast) with the powder of OFS stem. And also, the contents of water-soluble dietary fiber (WSDF) of the dried powder prepared by the extraction of OFS stem were monitored and optimized using the response surface methodology (RSM), which included 20 experimental points with 3 replicates for two independent variables (fermentation temperature and time). A central composite design was used to monitor the effect of fermentation temperature (30-90 °C, X1) and fermentation time (1-10h, X2) on dependent variables, such as viscosity (Y1), water-soluble dietary fiber (Y2) and dietary fiber yield (Y3). Estimated maximum values at predicted optimum conditions were in agreement with experimental values. Optimum temperature and duration were 50°C and 12 hours, respectively. Viscosity value reached 3.4 poise. Yield of water-soluble dietary fiber is determined in progress.

Keywords: Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten, enzymatic fermentation, response surface methodology, water-soluble dietary fiber, viscosity

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8 Statistical Optimization and Production of Rhamnolipid by P. aeruginosa PAO1 Using Prickly Pear Peel as a Carbon Source

Authors: Mostafa M. Abo Elsoud, Heba I. Elkhouly, Nagwa M. Sidkey


Production of rhamnolipids by Pseudomonas aeruginosa has attracted a growing interest during the last few decades due to its high productivity compared with other microorganisms. In the current work, rhamnolipids production by P. aeruginosa PAO1 was statistically modeled using Taguchi orthogonal array, numerically optimized and validated. Prickly Pear Peel (Opuntia ficus-indica) has been used as a carbon source for production of rhamnolipid. Finally, the optimum conditions for rhamnolipid production were applied in 5L working volume bioreactors at different aerations, agitation and controlled pH for maximum rhamnolipid production. In addition, kinetic studies of rhamnolipids production have been reported. At the end of the batch bioreactor optimization process, rhamnolipids production by P. aeruginosa PAO1 has reached the worldwide levels and can be applied for its industrial production.

Keywords: rhamnolipids, pseudomonas aeruginosa, statistical optimization, tagushi, opuntia ficus-indica

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7 Identification of Bioactive Substances of Opuntia ficus-indica By-Products

Authors: N. Chougui, R. Larbat


The first economic importance of Opuntia ficus-indica relies on the production of edible fruits. This food transformation generates a large amount of by-products (seeds and peels) in addition to cladodes produced by the plant. Several studies showed the richness of these products with bioactive substances like phenolics that have potential applications. Indeed, phenolics have been associated with protection against oxidation and several biological activities responsible of different pathologies. Consequently, there has been a growing interest in identifying natural antioxidants from plants. This study falls within the framework of the industrial exploitation of by-products of the plant. The study aims to investigate the metabolic profile of three by-products (cladodes, peel seeds) regarding total phenolic content by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry approach (LC-MSn). The byproducts were first washed, crushed and stored at negative temperature. The total phenolic compounds were then extracted by aqueous-ethanolic solvent in order to be quantified and characterized by LC-MS. According to the results obtained, the peel extract was the richest in phenolic compounds (1512.58 mg GAE/100 g DM) followed by the cladode extract (629.23 GAE/100 g DM) and finally by the seed extract (88.82 GAE/100 g DM) which is mainly used for its oil. The LC-MS analysis revealed diversity in phenolics in the three extracts and allowed the identification of hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonoids. The highest complexity was observed in the seed phenolic composition; more than twenty compounds were detected that belong to acids esters among which three feruloyl sucrose isomers. Sixteen compounds belonging to hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonoids were identified in the peel extract, whereas, only nine compounds were found in the cladode extract. It is interesting to highlight that the phenolic composition of the cladode extract was closer to that of the peel exact. However, from a quantitative viewpoint, the peel extract presented the highest amounts. Piscidic and eucomic acids were the two most concentrated molecules, corresponding to 271.3 and 121.6 mg GAE/ 100g DM respectively. The identified compounds were known to have high antioxidant and antiradical potential with the ability to inhibit lipid peroxidation and to exhibit a wide range of biological and therapeutic properties. The findings highlight the importance of using the Opuntia ficus-indica by-products.

Keywords: characterization, LC-MSn analysis, Opuntia ficus-indica, phenolics

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6 Diversity and Taxonomy: Malaysian Marine Algae Genus Halimeda (Halimedaceae, Chlorophyta)

Authors: Nur Farah Ain Zainee, Ahmad Ismail, Nazlina Ibrahim, Asmida Ismail


The study of genus Halimeda in Malaysia is in the early stage due to less specific study on its taxonomy. Most of the previous research tend to choose other genus such as Caulerpa and Gracilaria because of the potential of being utilized. The identification of Halimeda is complex by the high morphological variation within individual species due to different types of habitat and the changes in composition of seawater. The study was completed to study the diversity and distribution of Halimeda in Malaysia and to identify the morphological and anatomical differences between Halimeda species. The methods which have been used for this study are collection of Halimeda and seawater, preservation of specimen, identification of the specimen including the preparation of the temporary slide and decalcification of the calcium layer by using diluted hydrochloric acid. The specimen were processed in laboratory and kept as herbarium specimen in Algae Herbarium, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Environmental parameters were tested by using YSI multiparameter probe and the recorded data were temperature, salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen. The nutrient content of seawater such as nitrate and phosphate were analysed by using Hach kit model DR 2000. In the present study, out of 330 herbarium specimen, ten species were identified as Halimeda cuneata, H. discoidea, H. macroloba, H. macrophysa, H. opuntia, H. simulans, H. stuposa, H. taenicola, H. tuna and H. velasquezii. Of these, five species were new record to Malaysia. They are Halimeda cuneata, H. macrophysa, H. stuposa, H. taenicola and H. velasquezii. H. opuntia was found as the most abundance species with wide distribution in Malaysia coastal area. Meanwhile, from the study of their distribution, two localities in which Pulau Balak Balak, Kudat and Pulau Langkawi, Kedah, were noted having high number of Halimeda species. As a conclusion, this study has successfully identified ten species of Halimeda of Malaysia with full description of morphological characteristics that may assist further researcher to differentiate and identify Halimeda.

Keywords: Distribution, diversity, Halimeda, morphological, taxonomy

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5 Preparation and Characterization of Biosorbent from Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) cladodes and its Application for Dye Removal from Aqueous Solution

Authors: Manisha Choudhary, Sudarsan Neogi


Malachite green (MG), an organic basic dye, has been widely used for the dyeing purpose, as well as a fungicide and antiseptic in aquaculture industry to control fish parasites and disease. However, MG has now turned out to be an extremely controversial compound due to its adverse impact on living beings. Due to high toxicity, proper treatment of wastewater containing MG is utmost important. Among different available technologies, adsorption process is one of the most efficient and cost-effective treatment method due to its simplicity of design, ease of operation and regeneration of used materials. Nonetheless, commercial activated carbon is expensive leading the researchers to focus on utilizing natural resources. In the present work, a species of cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI), was used to develop a highly efficient, low-cost powdered activated carbon by chemical activation using NaOH. The biosorbent was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, field emission scanning electron microscope, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) and X-ray diffraction analysis. Batch adsorption studies were performed to remove MG from an aqueous solution as a function of contact time, initial solution pH, initial dye concentration, biosorbent dosages, the presence of salt and temperature. By increasing the initial dye concentration from 100 to 500 mg/l, adsorption capacity increased from 165.45 to 831.58 mg/g. The adsorption kinetics followed the pseudo-second-order model and the chemisorption mechanisms were revealed. The electrostatic attractions and chemical interactions were observed between amino and hydroxyl groups of the biosorbent and amine groups of the dye. The adsorption was solely controlled by film diffusion. Different isotherm models were used to fit the adsorption data. The excellent recovery of adsorption efficiency after the regeneration of biosorbent indicated the high potential of this adsorbent to remove MG from aqueous solution and an excellent cost-effective biosorbent for wide application in wastewater treatment.

Keywords: adsorption, biosorbent, cactus, malachite green

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4 Chemical Composition and Insecticidal Properties of Moroccan Plant Extracts against Dactylopius Opuntiae (Cockerell) Under Laboratory and Greenhouse Conditions

Authors: Imane Naboulsi, Mansour Sobeh, Rachid Lamzira, Karim El Fakhouri, Widad Ben Bakrim, Chaimae Ramdani, Rachid Boulamtat, Mustapha El Bouhssini, Jane ward, Abdelaziz Yasri, Aziz Aboulmouhajir


The wild cochineal Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell) (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) is the major insect pest of the prickly pear Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) in Morocco, which has causedenormous socio-economic and environmental losses to this crop in recent years. This study aimed to investigate the insecticidal potential of six aqueous (100% water), and methanolic (20/80 (v/v) MeOH/H2O) extracts obtained from aromatic and medicinal plants growing in arid and semi-arid regions of Morocco to control nymphs and adult females of D. opuntiae, under laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Under laboratory conditions, the aqueous extracts of Atriplex halimus at 5% caused significant mortality in nymphs with 71% four days after application and 88%on adult females of D. opuntiae8 days post-treatment. Under greenhouse conditions, the aqueous extract of A. halimus combined with black soap at 10 g/L showed the highest mortality rate of nymphs with 100%, 4 days after application. The adult females' mortality increased significantly to reach 83.75%,14 days after the second application of A. halimus aqueous extract at 5%. Phytochemical analysis of the water extract of A. halimus revealed a high content of saponins (24.09 ± 0.71 mg SSE/g DW) compared to other plant extracts, which was confirmed by LC-MS characterization that showed the presence of 36 triterpenoid saponin compounds (derived from oleic-12-en-28-oic acid), in addition to phytoecdysones, simple carboxylic acids, and flavonoids. These findings showed that using the aqueous extract of A. halimus as a biological pesticide could be incorporated into the management package to control the wild cochineal as a safe alternative to chemical insecticides.

Keywords: dactylopius opuntiae, opuntia ficus-indica L., plant extracts, toxicity, atriplex halimus, saponins

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3 Phycoremiadation of Heavy Metals by Marine Macroalgae Collected from Olaikuda, Rameswaram, Southeast Coast of India

Authors: Suparna Roy, Anatharaman Perumal


The industrial effluent with high amount of heavy metals is known to have adverse effects on the environment. For the removal of heavy metals from aqueous environment, different conventional treatment technologies had been applied gradually which are not economically beneficial and also produce huge quantity of toxic chemical sludge. So, bio-sorption of heavy metals by marine plant is an eco-friendly innovative and alternative technology for removal of these pollutants from aqueous environment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the capacity of heavy metals accumulation and removal by some selected marine macroalgae (seaweeds) from marine environment. Methods: Seaweeds Acanthophora spicifera (Vahl.) Boergesen, Codium tomentosum Stackhouse, Halimeda gracilis Harvey ex. J. Agardh, Gracilaria opuntia Durairatnam.nom. inval. Valoniopsis pachynema (Martens) Boergesen, Caulerpa racemosa var. macrophysa (Sonder ex Kutzing) W. R. Taylor and Hydroclathrus clathratus (C. Agardh) Howe were collected from Olaikuda (09°17.526'N-079°19.662'E), Rameshwaram, south east coast of India during post monsoon period (April’2016). Seaweeds were washed with sterilized and filtered in-situ seawater repeatedly to remove all the epiphytes and debris and clean seaweeds were kept for shade drying for one week. The dried seaweeds were grinded to powder, and one gm powder seaweeds were taken in a 250ml conical flask, and 8 ml of 10 % HNO3 (70 % pure) was added to each sample and kept in room temperature (28 ̊C) for 24 hours and then samples were heated in hotplate at 120 ̊C, boiled to evaporate up to dryness and 20 ml of Nitric acid: Percholoric acid in 4:1 were added to it and again heated to hotplate at 90 ̊C up to evaporate to dryness, then samples were kept in room temperature for few minutes to cool and 10ml 10 % HNO3 were added to it and kept for 24 hours in cool and dark place and filtered with Whatman (589/2) filter paper and the filtrates were collected in 250ml clean conical flask and diluted accurately to 25 ml volume with double deionised water and triplicate of each sample were analysed with Inductively-Coupled plasma analysis (ICP-OES) to analyse total eleven heavy metals (Ag, Cd, B, Cu, Mn, Co, Ni, Cr, Pb, Zn, and Al content of the specified species and data were statistically evaluated for standard deviation. Results: Acanthophora spicifera contains highest amount of Ag (0.1± 0.2 mg/mg) followed by Cu (0.16±0.01 mg/mg), Mn (1.86±0.02 mg/mg), B (3.59±0.2 mg/mg), Halimeda gracilis showed highest accumulation of Al (384.75±0.12mg/mg), Valoniopsis pachynema accumulates maximum amount of Co (0.12±0.01 mg/mg), Zn (0.64±0.02 mg/mg), Caulerpa racemosa var. macrophysa contains Zn (0.63±0.01), Cr (0.26±0.01 mg/mg ), Ni (0.21±0.05), Pb (0.16±0.03 ) and Cd ( 0.02±00 ). Hydroclathrus clathratus, Codium tomentosum and Gracilaria opuntia also contain adequate amount of heavy metals. Conclusions: The mentioned species of seaweeds are contributing important role for decreasing the heavy metals pollution in marine environment by bioaccumulation. So, we can utilise this species to remove excess amount of heavy metals from polluted area.

Keywords: heavy metals pollution, seaweeds, bioaccumulation, eco-friendly, phyco-remediation

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2 Hybrid Solutions in Physicochemical Processes for the Removal of Turbidity in Andean Reservoirs

Authors: María Cárdenas Gaudry, Gonzalo Ramces Fano Miranda


Sediment removal is very important in the purification of water, not only for reasons of visual perception but also because of its association with odor and taste problems. The Cuchoquesera reservoir, which is in the Andean region of Ayacucho (Peru) at an altitude of 3,740 meters above sea level, visually presents suspended particles and organic impurities indicating that it contains water of dubious quality to deduce that it is suitable for direct consumption of human beings. In order to quantitatively know the degree of impurities, water quality monitoring was carried out from February to August 2018, in which four sampling stations were established in the reservoir. The selected measured parameters were electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, color, turbidity, and sludge volume. The indicators of the studied parameters exceed the permissible limits except for electrical conductivity (190 μS/cm) and total dissolved solids (255 mg/L). In this investigation, the best combination and the optimal doses of reagents were determined that allowed the removal of sediments from the waters of the Cuchoquesera reservoir, through the physicochemical process of coagulation-flocculation. In order to improve this process during the rainy season, six combinations of reagents were evaluated, made up of three coagulants (ferric chloride, ferrous sulfate, and aluminum sulfate) and two natural flocculants: prickly pear powder (Opuntia ficus-indica) and tara gum (Caesalpinia spinoza). For each combination of reagents, jar tests were developed following the central composite experimental design (CCED), where the design factors were the doses of coagulant and flocculant and the initial turbidity. The results of the jar tests were adjusted to mathematical models, obtaining that to treat the water from the Cuchoquesera reservoir, with a turbidity of 150 UTN and a color of 137 U Pt-Co, 27.9 mg/L of the coagulant aluminum sulfate with 3 mg/L of the natural tara gum flocculant to produce a purified water quality of 1.7 UTN of turbidity and 3.2 U Pt-Co of apparent color. The estimated cost of the dose of coagulant and flocculant found was 0.22 USD/m³. This is how “grey-green” technologies can be used as a combination in nature-based solutions in water treatment, in this case, to achieve potability, making it more sustainable, especially economically, if green technology is available at the site of application of the nature-based hybrid solution. This research is a demonstration of the compatibility of natural coagulants/flocculants with other treatment technologies in the integrated/hybrid treatment process, such as the possibility of hybridizing natural coagulants with other types of coagulants.

Keywords: prickly pear powder, tara gum, nature-based solutions, aluminum sulfate, jar test, turbidity, coagulation, flocculation

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1 Opportunities for Reducing Post-Harvest Losses of Cactus Pear (Opuntia Ficus-Indica) to Improve Small-Holder Farmers Income in Eastern Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: Value Chain Approach

Authors: Meron Zenaselase Rata, Euridice Leyequien Abarca


The production of major crops in Northern Ethiopia, especially the Tigray Region, is at subsistence level due to drought, erratic rainfall, and poor soil fertility. Since cactus pear is a drought-resistant plant, it is considered as a lifesaver fruit and a strategy for poverty reduction in a drought-affected area of the region. Despite its contribution to household income and food security in the area, the cactus pear sub-sector is experiencing many constraints with limited attention given to its post-harvest loss management. Therefore, this research was carried out to identify opportunities for reducing post-harvest losses and recommend possible strategies to reduce post-harvest losses, thereby improving production and smallholder’s income. Both probability and non-probability sampling techniques were employed to collect the data. Ganta Afeshum district was selected from Eastern Tigray, and two peasant associations (Buket and Golea) were also selected from the district purposively for being potential in cactus pear production. Simple random sampling techniques were employed to survey 30 households from each of the two peasant associations, and a semi-structured questionnaire was used as a tool for data collection. Moreover, in this research 2 collectors, 2 wholesalers, 1 processor, 3 retailers, 2 consumers were interviewed; and two focus group discussion was also done with 14 key farmers using semi-structured checklist; and key informant interview with governmental and non-governmental organizations were interviewed to gather more information about the cactus pear production, post-harvest losses, the strategies used to reduce the post-harvest losses and suggestions to improve the post-harvest management. To enter and analyze the quantitative data, SPSS version 20 was used, whereas MS-word were used to transcribe the qualitative data. The data were presented using frequency and descriptive tables and graphs. The data analysis was also done using a chain map, correlations, stakeholder matrix, and gross margin. Mean comparisons like ANOVA and t-test between variables were used. The analysis result shows that the present cactus pear value chain involves main actors and supporters. However, there is inadequate information flow and informal market linkages among actors in the cactus pear value chain. The farmer's gross margin is higher when they sell to the processor than sell to collectors. The significant postharvest loss in the cactus pear value chain is at the producer level, followed by wholesalers and retailers. The maximum and minimum volume of post-harvest losses at the producer level is 4212 and 240 kgs per season. The post-harvest loss was caused by limited farmers skill on-farm management and harvesting, low market price, limited market information, absence of producer organization, poor post-harvest handling, absence of cold storage, absence of collection centers, poor infrastructure, inadequate credit access, using traditional transportation system, absence of quality control, illegal traders, inadequate research and extension services and using inappropriate packaging material. Therefore, some of the recommendations were providing adequate practical training, forming producer organizations, and constructing collection centers.

Keywords: cactus pear, post-harvest losses, profit margin, value-chain

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