Glucosinolate and folate content in sprouted broccoli seeds


HPLC analysis of broccoli seeds and laboratory-grown broccoli sprouts revealed that three aliphatic glucosinolates (glucoraphanin, glucoiberin and glucoerucin) and a group of indol-glucosinolates including 4-hydroxy-glucobrassicin are preformed in the seeds. In the early stage of sprouting a reduction (approx. 20%) of the aliphatic glucosinolates was measured. During further growing, until day 8, and subsequent cold storage up to the 12th day the amounts of the aliphatic glucosinolates levelled off. While 4-hydroxy-glucobrassicin declined continuously, three minor indole-derivatives increased steadily, but remained at a comparatively low level. Besides glucosinolates, folates were quantified in broccoli sprouts by stable isotope dilution assays (SIDAs). During germination, the contents of total folates increased to 72 μg/100 g fresh mass and 546 μg/100 g dry mass on the 4th day, which was equivalent, respectively, to a 3-fold and a 24-fold increase in the seed’s content. Thereafter, total folates decreased again to 13 μg/100 g fresh mass until the 8th day of germination and remained at this low level. The folate pattern measured by SIDA revealed 5-methyltetrahydrofolate as the predominant vitamer at each stage.

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The authors express their gratitude to Christiane Winkler and Michael Meyer for growing the seeds and performing the procedures in the analysis of glucosinolates. Moreover, we are grateful to Mrs. D. Fottner for her excellent technical assistance in folate analysis. Furthermore, the valuable reviewing of the manuscript by Diana Inkster is acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Michael Rychlik.

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Rychlik, M., Adam, S.T. Glucosinolate and folate content in sprouted broccoli seeds. Eur Food Res Technol 226, 1057–1064 (2008).

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  • Broccoli
  • Folates
  • glucosinolates
  • Sprouts
  • Stable isotope dilution assay