The antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of some cultivars of the nopal cactus have not been determined. In this study, 8 cultivars of nopal cacti from Mexico were assayed for phenolic content, antioxidant activities, and antimicrobial activities against Campylobacter Jejuni, Vibrio cholera, and Clostridium Perfringens. Plant material was washed, dried, and macerated in methanol. Minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) were determined using the broth microdilution method. Antioxidant activities were quantitatively determined using spectrophotometric methods. The MCBs of the nopal cacti ranged from 1.1 to 12.5 mg/mL for c. jejuni, 4.4 to 30 mg/mL for V. cholera, and 0.8 to 16 mg/mL for C. perfringens in the cultivars Cardon Blanco, Real de Catorce, and Jalpa, respectively. High quantities of total phenols and total flavonoids were found in the Jalpa cacti (3.80 mg of gallic acid equivalent GAE/g dry weight [DW] and 36.64 mg of quercetin equivalents [QE]/g DW, respectively). 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activities (RSA) were correlated to bioactive compound contents. The Villanueva cacti had the highest %RSA at 42.31%, and the lowest activity was recorded in Copena V1 at 19.98%. In conclusion, we found that some of the 8 cactus pear cultivars studied may be used for their antioxidant compounds or antimicrobials to control or prevent the contamination of foods.
Mexico had a great diversity of cactus pear cultivars, which have various uses. This study compares the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of various cultivars of cactus pear widely distributed in Mexico. Several of the cultivars were determined whether any were candidates for the inclusion in food systems as nutraceuticals or antimicrobial agents. Our data indicated that some cacti may be used for these purposes due to their antioxidant compounds or antimicrobial activity.