• Ascorbic acid oxidase;
  • broccoli;
  • lipoxygenase;
  • methanol;
  • peroxidase;
  • storage


The research objective was to study whether volatile organic compounds released in the headspace could be used to assess the broccoli quality (Brassica oleracea L. italica cv. Bellstar and Legacy) during postharvest storage (23 °C for 7 days) and correlated with colour change and the activity of peroxidase/POD, ascorbic acid oxidase/AAO and lipoxygenase/LOX. Volatile organic compounds were monitored using PTR-MS. Methanol had the highest concentration compared with other volatiles released in the headspace that significantly increased during senescence. The methanol concentration was approximately 500 ppbv before the broccoli colour began to change from green to yellow. The concentration of methanol in the headspace increased to 1000–1100 ppbv for Bellstar and Legacy when the colour became yellowish. LOX had high correlation (0.91 and 0.83 for Bellstar and Legacy, respectively) with volatiles for both cultivars, but not for POD. Methanol production is proposed as the best volatile marker to assess the broccoli quality.