Preliminary Phytochemical Screening and Estimation of Total Phenolic Content of Aqueous Cladode Extract of Opuntia dillenii
Opuntia dillenii commonly known as prickly pear belonging to the family Cactaceae. Opuntia dillenii is ideally suited to waterscarce dry zones of the world as an alternate source of food and fodder. Generally phytochemicals in plants include alkaloids, flavonoids and etc. It also includes phenol content which is a good antioxidant. The aim of the study is to analyse the phytochemicals and estimate total phenol content of Opuntia dillenii. Opuntia dillenii was purchased from a nursery in Chennai. Aqueous cladode extract of Opuntia dillenii was prepared. Phlobatannins, carbohydrates, flavonoids, alkaloids and terpenoids were qualitatively analysed. Total phenol was quantitatively estimated with Gallic acid as standard. From the Phytochemical analysis it was evident that the leaf extract shows significant presence of phytochemicals such as phlobatannins, flavonoids and terpenoids. Carbohydrates are in trace amounts. Total phenolic content was found to be 12.6 mg GAE/gm. Thus it was evident that Opuntia dillenii was significantly rich in phenolic compounds and this a good source of antioxidant. This study indicates the valuable presence of micro nutrients like phytochemicals and phenols. Phenols are the most important group of natural compounds considered to be of high scientific and therapeutic interest as it controls the accumulation of free radicals. From this study it was evident that the plant Opuntia dillenii is rich in phytoconstituents and further studies are required to isolate the chemical constituents and explore its biological value.