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
- General CE and U(H)PLC methodology: see publication .
- Experimental conditions and instrument parameters (pdf)
- Microscope: Keyence VHX-600 with VH-Z100R zoom objective (100-1000x)
Structural formulas (with 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