Author Topic: Interesting Methods For Glochid Removal (Opuntia Fruit)  (Read 270 times)

greg_D

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Interesting Methods For Glochid Removal (Opuntia Fruit)
« on: November 02, 2022, 02:01:43 PM »
Here's some methods I've found for removing glochids from Opuntia fruit. I don't know anything about the channels the videos are uploaded to.

Fire: https://youtu.be/zl2M9lgdRUg

Astroturf and brushes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G5vjY5XI98

Another method, from a Spanish language search on YouTube (my Spanish is limited to a few words and phrases; I use the auto-translated captions): https://youtu.be/jwXk29oUOLQ?t=489

Commercial method: https://youtu.be/3z8MyEzgdjI?t=37

Using grass (not very helpful unless you have a bunch of tall grass nearby): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd6dk_QEhMM

This one doesn't have the best captions available: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/ILc1e8gxJNc but she seems to be saying that after you soak the fruit in water for at least four hours, the glochids are either soft or come off very easily (if anyone could translate I'd appreciate it).

This seems like the most promising: https://youtu.be/FZsI78eLr6s?t=158 . She fills a bucket with water, stirs it with a broom, dumps the water, and repeats a few times. Then cuts off the ends of each fruit, being very careful to avoid the distal end (relative to where the fruit is attached to the plant prior to harvest).

To me, a fast and easy way for gardeners to remove glochids is really important for the popularization of Opuntia ficus-indica as a backyard fruit in the warmer parts of the United States. That's why I'm sharing these here when I find them.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2022, 04:10:12 PM by greg_D »

JCorte

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Re: Interesting Methods For Glochid Removal (Opuntia Fruit)
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2022, 03:37:03 PM »
Hi Greg, thanks for sharing the videos.  Iím going to try the Sicilian video method you shared and will report back.  Iím a little skeptical but will test it.

Recently harvested lots of fruits and I agree that I need to find an easier way to deal with the glochids.  Itís not a big deal harvesting and cleaning just a few, but if Iím going to harvest the hundreds of fruits on the property, need something way more efficient.  Next Iím going to try using a blow torch.









I really like the fruits and think theyíre worth the effort to harvest.

Janet

greg_D

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Re: Interesting Methods For Glochid Removal (Opuntia Fruit)
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2022, 04:05:52 PM »
Hi Janet. Thank you for the photos. I hope it goes well. I agree about the skepticism. If the method doesn't work, it could be a function of the cultivars they have over there being a bit different.

I currently use a cheap, handheld butane torch from Amazon. It takes maybe a minute per fruit. I first blast one end of the fruit with the torch, then insert a metal skewer at the point where the flame was applied. Once the fruit is on the skewer I roast it like a marshmallow. There's been times where I've bitten into one that seems 'done' from this method and in fact it was not. As a result I don't take for granted that the glochids are in fact all gone. The problem is that the fruit I harvest has to go into a bag for transport, and that causes them to impale each other with their glochids. So even avoiding the 'dots' where the glochids protrude from, if I don't treat the fruit first I can still get jabbed.

Once I have backyard plants to harvest from, hopefully I won't need to have the fruits touch each other after harvest and that problem will be solved.

greg_D

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Re: Interesting Methods For Glochid Removal (Opuntia Fruit)
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2022, 04:13:45 PM »
Another method I didn't link in the original post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_5aUbfyjQA

It seems to be a roofing torch. No idea how one would use it safely. Not experienced with that equipment. But if there were a way to treat harvested fruit in batches with it, I bet it would make quick work of the spines.

JCorte

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Re: Interesting Methods For Glochid Removal (Opuntia Fruit)
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2022, 04:31:49 PM »
I tried just holding them over a flame from propane stove and outdoor propane fire pit with tongs, and it didn't work very well.  I don't think the flame gets hot enough.  I'm going to try a commercial restaurant blow torch. 

I didn't have an issue of putting all the fruit into containers before harvesting because the fruit have minimal thorns, it's the glochids that are the issue.  They're hard to see and remove with tweezers.  I find that duct tape comes in handy at removing most of them if you pull the tape slowly and in the right direction.

In videos, I see people cleaning them in their kitchens.  I do not bring them inside the house until they are cleaned and I pick a spot that people aren't going to walk and risk tracking glochids into the house.

Janet

K-Rimes

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Re: Interesting Methods For Glochid Removal (Opuntia Fruit)
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2022, 08:01:40 PM »
I had good luck using one of the blue bottle propane torches when harvesting in my area. Bought one of those big roofing torches a la "Tiger Torchô" that hook up to a 20lb'r for my pizza oven and I will use that next time. My neighbors have a MASSIVE green/yellow opuntia with delicious fruit and I'll go ham with it for their benefit of easier picking.

Reedo

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Re: Interesting Methods For Glochid Removal (Opuntia Fruit)
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2022, 10:11:46 PM »
I use a large tub, fill it 2/3 with fruit, then add about a gallon of ice, and fill it with water. The gently agitate it for 5 minutes. Then pour the fruit into nursery trays and hose them all off. Just make sure that you dump the water somewhere you don't walk barefoot, or sit with any regularity. Same for the location of the nursery tray rinse. Depending on your tub and shoulder strength, this method works well for harvests up to about 150 fruits.




 

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