Glucosinolate contents in maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacón) seeds, sprouts, mature plants and several derived commercial products

Contenido de glucosinolatos en semillas de maca, plántulas, plantas maduras y en varios productos derivados


Several products derived from processed maca hypocotyls (Lepidium peruvianum Chacón, previously known asL. meyenii Walp.) were surveyed for glucosinolate content and quantified by HPLC analysis. These included pills, capsules, flour, liquor, tonic and mayonnaise. Different plant organs such as fresh hypocotyls and leaves, seeds, dry hypocotyls, and sprouts were also included in the survey. The most abundant glucosinolates detected in fresh and dry hypocotyls and leaves were the aromatic glucosinolates, benzylglucosinolate (glucotropaeolin) and p-methoxybenzylglucosinolate. Maca seeds and sprouts differed in profile from hypocotyls and leaves due to the modification of benzylglucosinolate. No glucosinolates were detected in liquor and tonic, while mayonnaise had only trace amounts of those glucosinolates. It had instead allylglucosinolate (sinigrin), which is an aliphatic glucosinolate. The pills, capsules and flour had the same glucosinolates as those observed in hypocotyls, but in variable amounts. The richest sources of glucosinolates were seeds, fresh hypocotyls and sprouts, in that order.


Se determinaron glucosinolatos por HPLC (cromatografía líquida de alto rendimiento) en la maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacón,antes L. meyenii Walp.) y en varios de sus productos derivados. Estos incluyeron comprimidos, cápsulas, harina, licor, tonico y mayonesa de maca. Además de plántulas, se muestrearon semillas, hojas e hipocotilos frescos, así como hipocotilos secos. Los glucosinolatos más abundantes detectados en hojas y en hipocotilos frescos y secos fueron los aromáticos benzylglucosinolato (glucotropaeolin) y p-methoxybenzylglucosinolato. Las plántulas y semillas mostraron perfiles de glucosinolatos diferentes al de las hojas e hipocotilos debido a la modificación de benzylglucosinolato. No se detectaron glucosinolatos en el licor y tonico, mientras que el contenido de estos en la mayonesa fue mínimo. Esta mas bien mostro el glucosinolato alifático allylglucosinolato (sinigrin). Los comprimidos, cápsulas, y harina mostraron el mismo perfil de glucosinolatos que el de los hipocotilos. En orden de mayor a menor las fuentes más ricas en glucosinolatos fueron las semillas, hipocotilos frescos y plántulas.

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Correspondence to Genyi Li or Uwe Ammermann or Carlos F. Quirós.

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Li, G., Ammermann, U. & Quirós, C.F. Glucosinolate contents in maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacón) seeds, sprouts, mature plants and several derived commercial products. Econ Bot 55, 255–262 (2001).

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Key Words

  • Lepidium meyenii
  • nutraceuticals
  • anticarcinogens
  • secondary metabolism products
  • Brassicaceae