Get access

Maintaining quality and bioactive compounds of broccoli by combined treatment with 1-methylcyclopropene and 6-benzylaminopurine


Yonghua Zheng, College of Food Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, P. R. China. E-mail:


BACKGOUND: Broccoli deteriorates very quickly after harvest at ambient temperature due to the loss of green colour and the consequent yellowing of florets. To search for an effective method to control quality deterioration, the effect of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) combined with 6-benzylaminopurine (6-BA) treatment on visual quality, antioxidant enzymes and bioactive compounds in broccoli florets were investigated.

RESULTS: A combined treatment of 2.5 µL L−1 1-MCP and 200 mg L−1 6-BA significantly reduced the increase of lightness (L*) value, and retained a high level for the hue value (H) and chlorophyll content. Superoxide dismutase, ascobate peroxidase and catalase activities increased while the activity of peroxidase decreased during storage in treated samples in comparison with the controls. The combined treatment enhanced the biosynthesis of glucosinolate and the formation of the anticarcinogen sulforaphane, which improved the health benefit of broccoli.

CONCLUSION: These results indicate that a combined treatment of 1-MCP and 6-BA could be a good candidate for maintaining the visual quality and enhancing the nutritional value in broccoli during storage at 15 °C. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry