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Influence of Cooking and Processing of Brassica Vegetables on Release of Beneficial and Harmful Metabolites of Glucosinolates in the Digestive Tract

Institutions
Macaulay Land Use Research Institute - subcontracts at Robert Gordon University/University of St Andrews
Start date
2002
End date
2006
Objective
This research project aims to develop urinary markers for estimation of in vivo production of glucosinolate hydrolysis products.

The current project aims to develop urinary markers for estimation of in vivo production of glucosinolate hydrolysis products.

These will then be used in human volunteer trials to determine the digestive fate of glucosinolates.

Further work will study the way in which different methods of preparing and cooking Brassica vegetables influence the hydrolysis and resulting digestive fate of glucosinolates following their ingestion by humans.

The first phase of the study will focus on the synthesis of glucosinolates using novel techniques previously developed at the University of St Andrews and other laboratories.

This includes the synthesis of stable isotope labelled compounds for use in animal studies. Results from this part of the work will be used to identify urinary biomarkers, first in animal models and then in humans.

More information
Brassica vegetable consumption is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer.

Glucosinolates, a group of natural products found in Brassica vegetables (green cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts), have been implicated as mediators of this phenomenon.

Glucosinolates are metabolised following plant cell damage, to yield a range of biologically active metabolites including isothiocyanates and nitriles.

Isothiocyanates appear to be involved in chemo-protection by a variety of mechanisms whereas nitriles are potentially toxic and have been shown to cause damage to liver and kidney tissue in rats.

The manner in which Brassica vegetables are treated prior to consumption may influence the relative proportions of isothiocyanates and nitriles arising in the digestive tract.

In particular, the method and extent of cooking may alter metabolic fate of glucosinolates. This project complements T01028.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
T01027
Categories
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Food Preparation and Handling
Commodities
Produce