Broccoli (Inflorescence)
© Krüger/IPBP

Broccoli-based food supplements

Like many other members of the cruciferous family, broccoli is characterized by the presence of bioactive glucosinolates ("mustard oil glycosides", Fig. 1). In particular, glucoraphanin (GR), which occurs in high concentrations in young shoots and seeds, and sulforaphane (SFN), an isothiocyanate formed secondarily from GR by the plant's own enzymes, are thought to have a positive influence on the development and course of cancer via chemoprotective effects. However, clinical studies do not sufficiently support the use of GR, SFN or broccoli extracts in cancer or other serious diseases. Nevertheless, a broad market of broccoli-based food/dietary supplements (FS) has now established itself, especially on the Internet. In order to assess the content of glucosinolates in these products and thus their quality, a small sample (14) of commercially available food supplements was examined using an analytical method developed specifically for this purpose. The evaluation of the qualitative and quantitative results revealed very large differences in quality.

Devices, material and methods

Structural formulas (with abbreviations)

Fig. 1. Glucosinolates from broccoli and sulforaphane (an isothiocyanate)
© IPBP/Lechtenberg

further abbreviations

CE Capillary Electrophoresis, GSL Glucosinolate(s), ITC Isothiocyanate(s), U(H)PLC Ulta (High) Performance Liquid Chromatography, FS Food Supplement, YBM "young broccoli marker" = sum of all glucosinolates whose occurrence is typical for young broccoli plants, shoots and seeds (namely: sum of the contents of GR, GI, GE and 4OH-GB),

Publications on the project

see here

Results at a glance

Note: for assessment, the declared (I.) content was compared with the measured (II.) content.
Please click on the table to enlarge.
© Lechtenberg/IPBP

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Traffic Light Assessment
© IPBP/WWU

Results in Detail

Declaration:

General declaration including additional claims, nutritional information, list of ingredients, daily dose or recommended intake and content (per daily dose), lot or serial number.

Results:

CE: qualitative and quantitative determination of GR and the sum of all YBM: GR, GI, GE and 4OH-GB

UPLC: qualitative determination of broccoli-GSL and SFN

Microscopy: photos with scale bars, chloral hydrate preparations

Assessment:

Qualitative: fingerprint comparison (CE/HPLC) with reference samples (shoots/seeds/mature heads) Quantitative: related to declaration

Sulforaphan aus Broccoli
| Vitaking Supplements, Königstein, GER
© IPBP/WWU

#01

Declaration
Sulforaphane from Broccoli 400 µg
100% natural concentrated extract from broccoli sprouts; 60 vegetarian capsules
per capsule: Sulforaphane 400 µg, BroccoPhane® 20:1 concentrated extract from broccoli sprouts, standardised to 0,4% Sulforaphane
Rice flour, sulforaphane, vegetable cellulose, anti-caking agents: silicon dioxide, magnesium salt of fatty acids
Lot 59 4 1701

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data: see below)
Quant.: in capsule content [g/100g]: GR 1,20±0,03 / YBM 1,64±0,07 // per capsule [mg]:  GR 5,53±0,17 / YBM 7,55±0,38
Mikroskopy: Samples cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment

Qual.: Fingerprints fingerprints match a typical sample from young broccoli
Quant.: declared: 0,4 mg SFN (≙ 1,0 mg GR) /  found: 5,5 mg GR

BroccoMax®
| Jarrow® Deutschland GmbH, Berlin, GER
© IPBP/WWU

#02

Declaration
BroccoMax®, food supplement with stand. broccoli seed extract, with active myrosinase; 1 capsule provides approx. 8 mg pure sulforaphane according to in vitro tests.
per 3 capsules: broccoli seed concentrate 1566 mg, of which SulforaphaneGlucoSinolate (SGS) 90 mg
Broccoli seed concentrate (Brassica oleracea italica), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (capsule shell), calcium ascorbate (vitamin C)
Lot 57052L16 Best before date 12/18

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (see below for raw data)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: GR 3.31±0.03; YBM 6.73±0.66 // per capsule [mg]: GR 18.4±1.5; YBM 37.4±3.6
Microscopy: samples cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual.: fingerprints correspond to a typical sample from young broccoli, GI content higher than other preparations
Quant: declared: 90 mg GR / 3 Capsules; found only approx. 55 mg GR/ 3 Capsules;
Note: overall high content of GR

Lebepur Brokkoli Superfood
| Polarwasser Tausendwasser GmbH; Lebepur Berlin, GER
© IPBP/WWU

#03

Declaration
Broccoli, Superfood without additives, 100% gently dried and finely ground organic broccoli, plant powder, raw food quality.
only energy, fat, carbohydrates, protein and salt are given
1-2 teaspoons / day
Lot 60444-3/7

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in powder [g/100g]: GR 0.08±0.01; YBM 0.26±0.05
Microscopy: samples cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual.: does not correspond to the fingerprint of home-made broccoli powder
Quant: contains significantly less GR (0.08%) than home-made freeze-dried broccoli powder (0.58%)

LLS - Broccoli Sprout Extract
| Love Life Supplements, Hitchin, UK
© IPBP/WWU

#04

Declaration
High Strength Extract of Broccoli Sprouts Which are Young Broccoli Plants; Contains Naturally Occurring Sulforaphane
per 2 capsule serving: Broccoli Sprout Extract (15:1) 1000 mg, whole plant equivalent 15000 mg, providing Sulphoraphane 5 mg
Broccoli Sprout Extract, Capsule Shell: Hydroxy Propyl Methyl Cellulose; for (b) additionally: Matcha Green Tea Powder
2 capsules per day (≙ 1000 mg Extr. or 5 mg SFN)
Lot (a) 91193394, (b) 18261242

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: GR < LOD; YBM < LOD // per capsule [mg]: GR < IOD; YBM < IOD
Microscopy (a): samples cleared by chloral hydrate
Microscopy (b): samples cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual: GSL not detectable, only very little SFN detectable in UHPLC analysis of (b)
Quant: GR and other YBM not detectable, same findings also in follow-up analysis

Brokkoli Extrakt
| Mein Vita, Bodyworldgroup GmbH, Ergolding, GER
© IPBP/WWU

#05

Declaration
Contains sulforaphane, a sulphur-containing molecule with antioxidant properties; bioactive sulforaphane food supplement capsules
per 2 capsules: broccoli extract 1000mg, of which sulforaphane 5mg broccoli extract (0.5% sulforaphane)(84%).
Capsule material hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
2 capsules / day (≙ 1000 mg extr. or 5 mg SFN).
Lot (a) 179.35, (b) C-906570

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: (a) GR < LOD; YBM < LOD (b) GR 0.27±0.03; YBM 0.44±0.01 // per capsule [mg]: (a) GR < LOD; YBM < LOD (b) GR 1.27±0.14; YBM 2.07±0.03.
Microscopy (a): samples cleared by chloral hydrate
Microscopy (b): samples cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual: (a) neither GR (CE) nor SFN (UHPLC) detectable; in follow-up analysis (b) GR and GI are detectable by CE and UPLC
Quant: (a) GR and YBM not detectable / (b) contents very low, declared 5 mg SFN/TD (≙ 12.4 mg GR), measured: only approx. 2.5 mg GR/TD

Vitalingo - Brokkoli Extrakt
| Storebird GmbH, Berlin, GER
© IPBP/WWU

#06

Declaration
only energy, fat, carbohydrates, protein and salt are indicated
per capsule: 400mg broccoli extract (10:1), 100mg hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (vegetarian capsule shell).
2 capsules / day (≙ 800 mg extra).
Lot (a) 1703054, (b) 181176

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: GR < LOD / YBM < LOD per capsule [mg]: GR < IOD / YBM < IOD
Microscopy (a): sample cleared by chloral hydrate
Microscopy (b): sample cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual.: in fingerprints CE and UHPLC GR, YBM and SFN are not detectable
Quant.: (a) neither GR (CE) nor SFN (UHPLC) detectable (b) same findings also in follow-up analysis

Green Line - Broccoli
| 11A Nutritheke GmbH, Röttenbach, GER
© IPBP/WWU

#07

Declaration
Food supplement with broccoli sprout concentrate
per capsule: 500 mg broccoli sprout concentrate
Broccoli sprout concentrate, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose
1 capsule / day (≙ 500 mg extr.)
Lot 22117
Microscopy: sample cleared by chloral hydrate

Results
Qual.: fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: GR 6.17±0.19 / YBM 8.56±0.47 // per capsule [mg]: GR 30.9±4.4 / YBM 43.0±7.1

Assessment
Qual.: fingerprints correspond to a typical sample from young broccoli
Quant.: very high content: > 30 mg GR / capsule

Broccoli Sulforaphan Kapseln
| NCM Nahrungsergänzungsmittel GmbH, Oberhaching, GER
© IPBP/WWU

#08

Declaration
Basis© Vitalstoff - Broccoli Sulforaphane Capsules, Basis Sulforaphane Capsules - with natural broccoli powder and broccoli sprout extract; 60 capsules à 590 mg
per capsule: Broccoli powder 340 mg, microcrystalline cellulose 100 mg, broccoli sprout extract 60 mg, vegetable capsule shell: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose.
1 - 3 capsules / day (≙ 18 mg SFN).
Lot (a) 40815, (b) 19100061

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: (a) GR 0.14±0.01 / YBM 0.16±0.02 (b) GR 0.16±0.02 / YBM 0.19±0.01 // per capsule [mg]: (a) GR 0.73±0.05 / YBM 0.81±0.11 (b) GR 0.81±0.13 / YBM 0.97±0.04
Microscopy (a): sample cleared by chloral hydrate
Microscopy (b): sample cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual.: in Fingerprints (CE, UHPLC) is GR detectable; GI minimal, other YBM are not detectable
Quant.: (a) declared: 18 mg SFN (≙ 45 mg GR) per daily dose (3 capsules); found < 2.5 mg GR/ 3 capsules. (b) same findings also in follow-up analysis

Broccoli - Bios Kapseln
| Bios Naturprodukte GmbH, Saarbrücken, GER
© IPBP/WWU

#09

Declaration
Food supplement with broccoli sprout concentrate
1 capsule contains 250 mg on SFN stand. broccoli sprouts concentrate; 2 capsules contain 500 mg on SFN standardised broccoli sprout concentrate
Broccoli sprout concentrate (50%); filler: mannitol; capsule shell: gelatine, colour: titanium dioxide
2 capsules / day (500 mg extr.)
Lot 249.04

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: GR 3.2±0.2 / YBM 4.5±0.3 // per capsule [mg]: GR 12.8±0.8 / YBM 18.9±1.3
Microscopy: sample cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual.: fingerprints correspond to a typical sample from young broccoli
Quant.: high content of GR: > 25 mg GR / 2 Capsules

Broccoli GPH Kapseln
| GALL-Pharma GmbH, Judenburg, GER
© IPBP/WWU

#10

Declaration
Food supplement with broccoli sprout concentrate
1 capsule contains 250 mg on SFN standardised broccoli sprout concentrate. 2 capsules contain 500mg on SFN-standardised broccoli sprout concentrate
Broccoli sprout concentrate (50%); filler: mannitol; capsule shell: gelatine, colour: titanium dioxide
2 capsules / day (500 mg extr.)
Lot 249.04
Microscopy: sample cleared by chloral hydrate

Results
Qual.: fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: GR 3.3±0.1 / YBM 4.6±0.2 // per capsule [mg]: GR 14.6±0.3 / YBM 20.3±0.7

Assessment
Qual.: fingerprints correspond to a typical sample of young broccoli
Quant.: high content of GR: > 25 mg GR / 2 capsules
Note: Sample identical to #09?

Extra Strength Broccoli Extract with Glucosinolates
| Swanson Health Products, Fargo, US
© IPBP/WWU

#11

Declaration
Extra Strength Broccoli Extract with Glucosinolates, Standardized Herbal Supplement made from nutrient-rich broccoli sprouts
Serving Size 1 Veggie Capsule: BroccoSinolate® Broccoli Extract (standardized for minimum 4% total glucosinolates) 600 mg
Hypromellose (vegetable capsule), may contain one or more of the following: microcrystalline cellulose (plant fibre), magnesium stearate, silicia
1 capsule per day (≙ 600 mg extr. / 24 mg total GSL)
Lot (a) 221371, (b) 236125

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: (a) GR 0.20±0.04 / YBM 0.24±0.01 (b) GR 2.90±0.08 / YBM 4.20±0.13 // per capsule [mg]: (a) GR 1.45±0.27 / YBM 1.68±0.07 (b) GR 20.6±0.3 / YBM 29.8±0.6
Microscopy (a): sample cleared by chloral hydrate
Microscopy (b): sample cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual.: (a) in CE-fingerprint sinalbin is dominant (untypical for broccoli), confirmation by UPLC (b) in CE-fingerprint all YBM clearly detectable, additionally sinalbin
Quant.: (a) YBM contents clearly below expectations; (b) sum of YBMs (approx. 30 mg / Kps.) corresponds to declaration (24 mg GSL / Kps.)

GreenFoods Formulas: Sulphoraphane
| Swanson Health Products, Fargo, US
© IPBP/WWU

#12

Declaration
Phytonutrient-Rich Green Foods, 100% Natural Concentrated Broccoli Nutrition, Suforaphane from Broccoli Sprout Extract, Dietary Supplement, 20:1 broccoli sprout concentrate
Serving Size 1 Veggie Capsule: Sulforaphane (from BroccoPhane®20:1 broccoli sprout concentrate standardized to 0.4% sulforaphane) 400 µg
Rice flour, hypromellose (vegetale capsule), may contain one or both of the following: magnesium stearate, silicia
1 capsule per day (≙ 0,4 mg SFN)
Lot 2239332

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (see below for raw data)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: GR 1.46±0.04 / YBM 1.93±0.05 // per capsule [mg]: GR 6.7±0.3 / YBM 8.8±0.3
Microscopy (a): sample cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual.: fingerprints correspond to a typical sample from young broccoli
Quant.: GR content found (6.7 mg / capsule) exceeds declaration (0.4 mg SFN is equivalent to approx. 1.0 mg GR)

Lüttge: Wildkohl Brassica Nr. 2
| Agrinova GmbH, Vechta, GER; Vertrieb: Evergreen-Food- GmbH Prod
© IPBP/WWU

#13

Declaration
Pure natural product from 25,000 cabbage sprouts and leaf shoots of Brassica No. 2
per 100 g contains on average 2800 mg glucosinolate-SFN
Cellulose capsules with approx. 500 mg Brassica No. 2 powder (cabbage sprouts, leaf shoots)
2 x 3 capsules / day (≙ 84 mg GR)
Lot WKK170406

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in capsule content [g/100g]: GR 0.52±0.08 / YBM 2.03±0.21 // per capsule [mg]: GR 2.0±0.3 / YBM 7.9±0.7
Microscopy: sample cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual.: the sample designated as wild cabbage shows the YBM in the fingerprint and additionally the substance peak of sinigrin, confirmation by UPLC (m/z 358 ≙ sinigrin; m/z 372 ≙  gluconapine).
Quant.: with a content of approx. 12 mg / 6 capsules the declared content (84 mg) is clearly not reached

Deiters Broccoraphan®
| Gesundundköstlich GmbH, Hamburg, GER
© IPBP/WWU

#14

Declaration
Broccoraphan® food supplement
Broccoli (granules from young broccoli plants concentrated and ground by drying)
2 dosage spoons (approx. 3 g ) contain 35-55 mg sulforaphane
3 g granules / day (≙ 33-55 mg SFN)
Analysis: 1622.8 mg / 100 g (identical for lot (a) and (b)!)
Lot (a) 201706210700, (b) 201706

Results
Qual.: Fingerprints CE and UHPLC (raw data see below)
Quant: in powder (granules) (a) GR < LOD / YBM < LOD (b) GR < LOD / YBM < LOD
Microscopy (a): samples cleared by chloral hydrate
Microscopy (b): samples cleared by chloral hydrate

Assessment
Qual.: Fingerprints (CE and UHPLC) do not correspond to a typical broccoli sample, GR and YBM are not detectable; two additional GSL signals: m/z 372 (gluconapine) and m/z 386 (glucobrassicanapine)
Quant: GR and YBM not detectable (CE and UPLC)