AbstractNopal is one of the most consumed foods in Mexico (consumed both by humans and animals, mainly ruminants), with an increased demand in the last ten years. The nopal (Opuntia spp.) develops favorably in conditions of low precipitation, in thin, rocky soils which are typical of arid zones, where other crops only grow at a certain time of the year. The physical-mechanical properties of the product to be processed are fundamental in the design and construction of agricultural machinery, since previous knowledge and evaluation of the material that is going to be processed enables a correct selection of the work elements or mechanisms that will intervene in the machine. In the case of nopal processing, the presence of areolas and thorns directly affects some mechanical properties of the product, as presented in this paper.
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