Preparative HPLC method for the purification of sulforaphane and sulforaphane nitrile from Brassica oleracea

Nathan V. Matusheski, Matthew A. Wallig, John A. Juvik, Barbara P. Klein, Mosbah M. Kushad, Elizabeth H. Jeffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An extraction and preparative HPLC method has been devised to simultaneously purify sulforaphane and sulforaphane nitrile from the seed of Brassica oleracea var. italica cv. Brigadier. The seed was defatted with hexane, dried, and hydrolyzed in deionized water (1:9) for 8 h. The hydrolyzed seed meal was salted and extracted with methylene chloride. The dried residue was redissolved in a 5% acetonitrile solution and washed with excess hexane to remove nonpolar contaminants. The aqueous phase was filtered through a 0.22-μm cellulose filter and separated by HPLC using a Waters Prep Nova-Pak HR C-18 reverse-phase column. Refractive index was used to detect sulforaphane nitrile, and absorbance at 254 nm was used to detect sulforaphane. Peak identification was confirmed using gas chromatography and electron-impact mass spectrometry. Each kilogram of extracted seed yielded approximately 4.8 g of sulforaphane and 3.8 g of sulforaphane nitrile. Standard curves were developed using the purified compounds to allow quantification of sulforaphane and sulforaphane nitrile in broccoli tissue using a rapid GC method. The methodology was used to compare sulforaphane and sulforaphane nitrile content of autolyzed samples of several broccoli varieties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1867-1872
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Brassica oleracea
  • Broccoli
  • Glucosinolates
  • HPLC
  • Isothiocyanate
  • Sulforaphane
  • Sulforaphane nitrile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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