M. Alonso, G. Palacios, S.P. Ortín, A. Talamo, R. Rojas, L.B. Lozano, M.E. Toncovich, E.E.A. Cerrillos
The production of cochineal is not widespread in Argentina but has a potential for high quality carminic acid. The object of this work was to determine the acid content of cochineal carmine raised at three different heights. 100 two-year-old, uniform prickly pear cladodes were used, at three different levels (1.50, 1.00 and 0.50 m). Each cladode was infected with 10 females per nest. The cochineal was harvested, and the fresh and dry weight determined. To obtain the carminic acid a Soxhlet and dichloromethane solvent were used. There were 6 replicates per level. Distillation time was 12 hours per sample. The amount of carminic acid in the cladodes at different levels was compared, using a non-parametric Kruskal Wallis one-way analysis of variance with a significance level of 0.01 to 0.05. Fresh weight was 291.77 g in the lower level, 283.92 in the middle and 261.18 at the top level. Yields of dry weight were: at the lower level 118.71 g with 40% dry matter, at mid-level 86.95 g with 30.61% dry matter, and 84.75 g with 32.44% dry matter at top level. There were no significant differences in weight between the different levels of infestation. This was 0.88 g and 17.50% carminic acid in the upper, 0.85 g and 16.97% carminic acid in the middle and 0.83 g and 16.67% carminic acid in the bottom level. Fresh weight per cladode was 3 g, similar to that found in Mexico and Peru. The insects in this trial produced cochineal quality in the ITINTEC highest rating.
Alonso, M., Palacios, G., Ortín, S.P., Talamo, A., Rojas, R., Lozano, L.B., Toncovich, M.E. and Cerrillos, E.E.A. (2013). EVALUATION OF CARMINIC ACID OBTAINED FROM COCHINEAL (DACTYLOPIUS COCCUS COSTA) PRODUCED UNDER PROTECTED CONDITIONS. Acta Hortic. 995, 401-404
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.995.52
cochineal, carminic acid, fresh and dry weight, prickly-pear cactus

Acta Horticulturae