The addition of active compounds to enhance the functional properties of foods is a quite common practice. Recently, bread became one of the target foods to incorporate functional ingredients such as those deriving from Opuntia spp. So far, only Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes in powder has been tested. The addition of fresh O. ficus-indica mucilage (in substitution to water) did not influence the biological leavening of the doughs. The resulting breads showed a biological role of the cactus mucilage, because their antioxidant activity was higher than that of control wheat bread. The sensory analysis indicated a general appreciation of the breads enriched with O. ficus-indica mucilage by the judges. The inclusion of fresh cactus mucilage in bread production might increase the dietary antioxidant intake due to its daily worldwide consumption.
Keywords: Antimicrobial activity; Antioxidant activity; Biological leavening; Cactus mucilage; Enriched bread; Yeasts.
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