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Keywords:

  • anthocyanins;
  • Brassica oleracea;
  • glucosinolates;
  • phenolic compound

Abstract:  Broccoli, (Brassica oleracea var. Italica), is generally recognized as a nutritive food rich in natural antioxidants, including vitamins and phenolics compounds. Phytochemical composition of 3 different purple sprouting broccoli varieties according with their production cycle: EEP (Extra Early), EP (Early), and LP (Late) were determined. The 3 cultivars tested were grown under the same conditions in an experimental field (SE Spain) where they were not previously cultivated since these cultivars are typical of cold, Northern-European areas. EP variety showed greater growth according to the photosynthetic rate and C assimilation. However, it was not possible to obtain inflorescences for variety LP. The health-promoting compounds (vitamin C, phenolic compounds, and glucosinolates) were higher in purple broccolis than in traditionally grown green broccolis and showed differences according to the variety. With respect to the use of broccoli byproducts as source of antioxidants, any variety would be suitable although the leaves of EP variety seems the richest in total phenolic acids, whereas the amount of anthocyanins was higher in LP variety, followed by EP and EEP varieties. Under our experimental conditions, the levels of glucosinolates were higher in purple broccoli than in green cultivars and also higher than other purple broccolis grown under different climate conditions. Therefore, the results reported data for production of the EEP and EP varieties in the Mediterranean climate with potential to obtain vegetables with improved nutritional quality.

Practical Application:  The results of this study reported data of the health-promoting nutrients and natural antioxidants of EEP, EP, and LP purple sprouting broccoli varieties grown under the Mediterranean climate. The vitamin C, phenolic compounds, and glucosinolates in these purple varieties were higher than in traditionally grown green broccolis and other purple broccolis grown under different climate conditions.