Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 65593
Title The nutritional significance, biosynthesis and bioavailability of glucosinolates in human foods
Author(s) Mithen, R.F.; Dekker, M.; Verkerk, R.; Rabot, S.; Johnson, I.T.
Source Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 80 (2000). - ISSN 0022-5142 - p. 967 - 984.
Department(s) Product Design and Quality Management Group
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2000
Abstract The glucosinolates are a large group of sulphur-containing compounds which occur in all the economically important varieties of Brassica vegetable. Their common structure comprises a -D-thioglucose group, a sulphonated oxime moiety and a variable side-chain derived from methionine, tryptophan or phenylalanine. When the plant tissue is damaged the glucosinolates are hydrolysed by the endogenous enzyme myrosinase (thioglucoside glycohydrolase EC 3:2:3:1), to release a range of breakdown products including the bitter, biologically active isothiocyanates. Although these compounds exert antinutritional effects in animals there is also substantial evidence that they are the principal source of anticarcinogenic activity in Brassica vegetables, and this provides a strong motive for the manipulation of glucosinolate levels in vegetables for human consumption. This review provides an overview of the evidence for a beneficial role for glucosinolates in human health, and describes the current state of knowledge regarding the genetics and biosynthesis of glucosinolates, their chemical analysis, their behaviour during cooking and processing, and their bioavailability to humans. As the genetic basis of glucosinolate biosynthesis becomes more apparent, and tools for marker-assisted plant breeding become more available, the selective breeding of horticultural brassicas with different levels and types of glucosinolates, whether by conventional means or genetic manipulation, is becoming a practical possibility. However before this strategy becomes commercially viable, the health benefits of glucosinolates for human beings must be unequivocally established
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