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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Glucosinolates in Brassica vegetables - the influence of the food supply chain on intake, bioavailability and human health
Dekker M.,Verkerk R. 
Wageningen University (WUR), Netherlands
For the human diet, representatives of the Brassicaceae are of particular importance as vegetables (e.g. cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower), root vegetables (e.g. radish, turnip, swede), leaf vegetables (e.g. rocket salad), seasonings and relishes (e.g. mustard, wasabi) and sources of oil.

Glucosinolates, a group of secondary metabolites, are claimed to be the components responsible for many of the 354 physiological effects proposed for Brassica vegetables in different types of studies, including in vitro, animal, human and epidemiological studies.

Glucosinolates coexist with, but are physically separated from, a plant thioglucosidase, myrosinase, within a ‘glucosinolate-myrosinase system’. The myrosinase-mediated hydrolysis of glucosinolates generates a wide range of bioactive metabolites, including isothiocyanates, thiocyanates, indoles, nitriles and cyanoepithioalkanes. Brassica vegetables are exposed to various processes along the food supply chain which may modify the glucosinolate-myrosinase system as a result of e.g. inactivation of plant myrosinase, loss of enzymic cofactors, thermal breakdown and/or leaching of glucosinolates and their metabolites or volatilization of metabolites.
In this overview we will elaborate various actors and relevant steps in the food supply chain of Brassica vegetables and their influence on intake and bioavailability of glucosinolates and bioactive breakdown products in relation to human health. By analyzing various steps of the supply chain of Brassica vegetables we identified four critical points that have the biggest impact on the level of glucosinolates in the final products: - Cultivar selection - Storage and packaging - Industrial processing - Consumer preparation. A general strategy for production and supply chain management for optimizing glucosinolate intake and improving human health will be proposed.


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