Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 1806–1815 | Cite as

Purple head broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica Plenck), a functional food crop for antioxidant and anticancer potential

  • Ashun Chaudhary
  • Sonika Choudhary
  • Upendra Sharma
  • Adarsh Pal Vig
  • Bikram Singh
  • Saroj Arora
Original Article


Natural foods are used in many folks and household treatments and have immense potential to treat a serious complication and health benefits, in addition to the basic nutritional values. These food products improve health, delay the aging process, increase life expectancy, and possibly prevent chronic diseases. Purple head Brassica oleracea L. var. italica Plenck is one of such foods and in current studies was explored for chemical compounds at different development stages by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Antioxidant potential was explored employing different assays like molybdate ion reduction, DPPH, superoxide anion radical scavenging and plasmid nicking assay. Inspired by antioxidant activity results, we further explored these extracts for antiproliferative potential by morphological changes, cell cycle analysis, measurement of intracellular peroxides and mitochondrial membrane potential changes. Current study provides the scientific basis for the use of broccoli as easily affordable potent functional food.


Broccoli Antioxidant assay Cell cycle ROS GC–MS MTT Apoptosis 



Palam Vichitra seeds


Palam Vichitra 3 day sprout


Palam Vichitra 5 day sprout


Palam Vichitra 7 day sprout


Palam Vichitra leaves


Palam Vichitra floret



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi (38(1193)/08/EMR-П) and CEPEPA (UGC). The authors are also grateful to Director, CSIR-IHBT-Palampur for providing GC–MS facilities.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13197_2018_3095_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3041 kb)


  1. Abdulah R, Faried A, Kobayashi K, Yamazaki C, Suradji EW, Ito K, Koyama H (2009) Selenium enrichment of broccoli sprout extract increases chemosensitivity and apoptosis of LNCaP prostate cancer cells. BMC Cancer 9:414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bachiega P, Salgado JM, de Carvalho JE, Ruiz ALT, Schwarz K, Tezotto T, Morzelle MC (2016) Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities in different maturation stages of broccoli (Brassica oleracea Italica) biofortified with selenium. Food Chem 190:771–776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhushan S, Kumar A, Malik F, Andotra SS, Sethi VK, Kaur IP, Taneja SC, Qazi GN, Singh J (2007) A triterpenediol from Boswellia serrata induces apoptosis through both the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways in human leukemia HL-60 cells. Apoptosis 12:1911–1926CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bidchol AM, Wilfred A, Abhijna P, Harish R (2011) Free radical scavenging activity of aqueous and ethanolic extract of Brassica oleracea L. var. italica. Food Bioprocess Technol 4:1137–1143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blois MS (1958) Antioxidant determinations by the use of a stable free radical. Nature 181:1199–1200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chaudhary A, Sharma U, Vig AP, Singh B, Arora S (2014) Free radical scavenging, antiproliferative activities and profiling of variations in the level of phytochemicals in different parts of broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica). Food Chem 148:373–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chiang WC, Pusateri DJ, Leitz RE (1998) Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry method for the determination of sulforaphane and sulforaphane nitrile in broccoli. J Agric Food Chem 46:1018–1021CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ciska E, Martyniak-Przybyszewska B, Kozlowska H (2000) Content of glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables grown at the same site for two years under different climatic conditions. J Agric Food Chem 48:2862–2867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Deng S, Yuan H, Yi J, Lu Y, Wei Q, Guo C, He Z (2013) Gossypol acetic acid induces apoptosis in RAW264.7 cells via a caspase-dependent mitochondrial signaling pathway. J Vet Sci 14:281–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Espín JC, García-Conesa MT, Tomás-Barberán FA (2007) Nutraceuticals: facts and fiction. Phytochemistry 68:2986–3008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Farag MA, Motaal AAA (2010) Sulforaphane composition, cytotoxic and antioxidant activity of crucifer vegetables. J Adv Res 1:65–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gülçin I, Küfrevioǧlu Öİ, Oktay M, Büyükokuroǧlu ME (2004) Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer and analgesic activities of nettle (Urtica dioica L.). J Ethnopharmacol 90:205–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gupta P, Kim B, Kim SH, Srivastava SK (2014) Molecular targets of isothiocyanates in cancer: recent advances. Mol Nutr Food Res 58:1685–1707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hu X, Zhang X, Qiu S, Yu D, Lin S (2010) Salidroside induces cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in human breast cancer cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 398:62–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Huang SH, Wu LW, Huang AC, Yu CC, Lien JC, Huang YP, Yang JS, Yang JH, Hsiao YP, Wood WG, Yu CS, Chung JG (2012) Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) induces G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis in human melanoma A375.S2 cells through reactive oxygen species (ROS) and both mitochondria-dependent and death receptor-mediated multiple signaling pathways. J Agric Food Chem 60:665–675CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hwang JH, Lim SB (2015) Antioxidant and anticancer activities of broccoli by-products from different cultivars and maturity stages at harvest. Prev Nutr Sci 20:8–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jang HW, Moon JK, Shibamoto T (2015) Analysis and Antioxidant Activity of Extracts from Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.) Sprouts. J Agric Food Chem 63:1169–1174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jirovetz L, Smith D, Buchbauer G (2002) Aroma compound analysis of Eruca sativa (Brassicaceae) SPME headspace leaf samples using GC, GC–MS, and olfactometry. J Agric Food Chem 50:4643–4646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kaur C, Kumar K, Anil D, Kapoor HC (2007) Variations in antioxidant activity in broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.) cultivars. J Food Biochem 31:621–638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kaur T, Bhat HA, Raina A, Koul S, Vyas D (2013) Glutathione regulates enzymatic antioxidant defence with differential thiol content in perennial pepperweed and helps adapting to extreme environment. Acta Physiol Plant 35:2501–2511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kello M, Drutovic D, Chripkova M, Pilatova M, Budovska M, Kulikova L, Urdzik P, Mojzis J (2014) ROS-dependent antiproliferative effect of brassinin derivative homobrassinin in human colorectal cancer Caco2 cells. Molecules 19:10877–10897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Keum YS, Jeong WS, Kong AN (2005) Chemopreventive functions of isothiocyanates. Drug News Perspect 18:445–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kim YS, Milner JA (2005) Targets for indole-3-carbinol in cancer prevention. J Nutr Biochem 16:65–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lee JC, Kim HR, Kim J, Jang YS (2002) Antioxidant property of an Ethanol extract of the stem of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. J Agric Food Chem 50:6490–6496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Manson MM, Farmer PB, Gescher A, Steward WP (2005) Innovative agents in cancer prevention. In: Senn H-J, Morant R (eds) Tumor prevention and genetics III. Springer, Berlin, pp 257–275Google Scholar
  26. Miyata T (2007) Pharmacological basis of traditional medicines and health supplements as curatives. J Pharmacol Sci 103:127–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Moreno DA, Carvajal M, López-Berenguer C, García-Viguera C (2006) Chemical and biological characterisation of nutraceutical compounds of broccoli. J Pharm Biomed Anal 41:1508–1522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Park HS, Han MH, Kim GY, Moon SK, Kim WJ, Hwang HJ, Park KY, Choi YH (2014) Sulforaphane induces reactive oxygen species-mediated mitotic arrest and subsequent apoptosis in human bladder cancer 5637 cells. Food Chem Toxicol 64:157–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Prieto P, Pineda M, Aguilar M (1999) Spectrophotometric quantitation of antioxidant capacity through the formation of a phosphomolybdenum complex: specific application to the determination of vitamin E. Anal Biochem 269:337–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Prior RL, Wu X, Schaich K (2005) Standardized methods for the determination of antioxidant capacity and phenolics in foods and dietary supplements. J Agric Food Chem 53:4290–4302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Qian Y, Guan T, Huang M, Cao L, Li Y, Cheng H, Jin H, Yu D (2012) Neuroprotection by the soy isoflavone, genistein, via inhibition of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis pathways and reactive oxygen induced-NF-κB activation in a cerebral ischemia mouse model. Neurochem Int 60:759–767CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sharma G, Prakash D, Gupta C, Prakash D, Sharma G (2014) Phytochemicals of nutraceutical importance: do they defend against diseases? In: Parkash D, Sharma G (eds) Phytochemicals of nutraceutical importance. Amity University, Uttar Pardesh, pp 1–19Google Scholar
  33. Talalay P, Fahey JW (2001) Phytochemicals from cruciferous plants protect against cancer by modulating carcinogen metabolism. J Nutr 131:3027–3033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tang L, Zhang Y, Jobson HE, Li J, Stephenson KK, Wade KL, Fahey JW (2006) Potent activation of mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and arrest in S and M phases of cancer cells by a broccoli sprout extract. Mol Cancer Ther 5:935–944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Verkerk R, Schreiner M, Krumbein A, Ciska E, Holst B, Rowland I, De Schrijver R, Hansen M, Gerhäuser C, Richard Mithen R, Dekker M (2009) Glucosinolates in Brassica vegetables: the influence of the food supply chain on intake, bioavailability and human health. Mol Nutr Food Res 53:219CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botanical and Environmental SciencesGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia
  2. 2.Natural Product Chemistry and Process Development DivisionCouncil of Scientific and Industrial Research-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR-IHBT)PalampurIndia
  3. 3.Department of Botany, College of Basic Sciences and HumanityPunjab Agricultural UniversityLudhianaIndia

Personalised recommendations