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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 1;52(24):7318-23.

Glucosinolates and myrosinase activity in red cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. Capitata f. rubra DC.) after various microwave treatments.

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Product Design and Quality Management Group, Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8129, NL-6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Total and individual levels of glucosinolates (GSs) were measured in red cabbage after various microwave treatments varying in time and intensity of the treatments. Furthermore, the myrosinase enzyme activity of the microwave-heated vegetables was determined. The retention of GSs in the cabbage and the residual activity of the hydrolytic enzyme as a result of microwave preparation were compared with untreated cabbage. In general, high total GS levels were observed for all of the applied microwave treatments. Strikingly, many of the time/energy input combinations resulted in levels exceeding the total GS content of the untreated cabbage material. Moreover, the increase in levels seems to be associated with the energy input applied. A possible explanation for this behavior is an increased extractability of GS from heat-treated cabbage as compared to raw cabbage. Substantial myrosinase activity was retained in cabbage treated at low (24 min, 180 W) and intermediate microwave powers (8 min, 540 W) while microwave cooking for 4.8 min at 900 W (259.2 kJ energy input) resulted in a complete loss of hydrolytic activity. In this respect, differences in observed temperature profiles of the various microwave treatments play an important role. Higher retention of GSs and controllable amounts of active myrosinase can offer increasing health-promoting properties of microwave-prepared Brassica vegetables.

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