Before revealing benefits of prickly pear seeds, it fitting to specify that we use this ingredient only in Naxos Mature and Naxos Sterilight recipes for the particular needs of mature and sterilight dogs.
We use to think prickly pear as a plant whose spiny and succulent fruits are particularly consumed in Sicily. By the way, do you know that an oil with special properties is extracted from the seeds of this plant?
What does Science say?
A research conducted by an Italian team and published on the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology wanted to take into consideration healthy properties of this product but also its economic capacities.
The coordinator of the study was Mario Pagliaro, a chemist researcher of the CNR and of the Universities of Catania and Palermo. In collaboration with other chemists and agronomists, Mr Mario Pagliaro decided to analyse in depth all the elements of prickly pear seeds; he also examined the oil that can be obtained and its own properties. He conducted his research on the invitation of the new manufacturing district of the Sicilian prickly pear.
The main features
The oil contained in prickly pear seeds has an abundant amount of fatty acids that are very important for our health (especially for the cardiovascular system) and for the health of our 4-legged friends, especially if they are mature or when they need nutrient and more digestible food.
The oil obtained from prickly pear seeds is an extraordinary product in Sicily and it can boast additional features.
“The fatty acid composition of the Sicilian Opuntia ficus oil is similar to the composition of the fruits that grown in Tunisia, but it is completely different from the OFI fruits (for the production of prickly pear) that are cultivated in Algeria and Morocco.
Asthe oil obtained in Tunisia, the Sicilian oil has a high standard of vaccenic acidand it includes also a significant amount of other unsaturated fatty acids with advantageous properties for health.
The Sicilian oil has the edge over the others
In fact, it has specific features compared to the oil produced in Morocco. According to an excerpt of the research just published:
“The fatty acid composition of the seed oil obtained from the yellow fruit of Opuntia ficus-indica is widely cultivated in Sicily and it shows several distinctive features.
The oil contains significative quantities of vaccenic acidand several others unsaturated fatty acid with healthy properties. Including linolenic, trans-13-octadecenoic, gondoic, 7Z 10Z – hexadecadienoic e gadoleic acids”.
The story of prickly pear seeds
Prickly pear seeds for dogs are more efficient and less known than the argan seeds. They come from the native fruit of Mexico and they have been sold during the Aztec civilization who already knew the capacities of the oil that is obtained. The cultivation of the plant started in the countries of the Mediterranean basin from the 16thcentury; in that period, it was used to treat wounds and burns and to protect skin against the drying effects of wind action and strong heat in these areas. Its own use was forgotten later. This special gift of nature was found out recently during the study of the Berber women’s beauty habits.
Prickly peas seeds oil boasts a millennial therapeutic tradition thanks to its antioxidants, revitalising, reinforcing, hydrating, soothing, anti-inflammatory and heling properties.
It is also a special oil if we consider the particular extraction process. It is obtained only by cold pressing of seeds in order to preserve its heathy properties. One ton of miniscule seeds is necessary to extract a litre of prickly pear oil. Cold pressing is a mechanical system to extract vegetables oils, the level of the temperature has to be lower than 27° and any kind of chemist treatment is not requested. In this way it is possible to obtain a very high-quality product with noble properties.