Total myrosinase activity estimates in brassica vegetable produce

Edward B. Dosz, Kang Mo Ku, John A. Juvik, Elizabeth H. Jeffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Isothiocyanates, generated from the hydrolysis of glucosinolates in plants of the Brassicaceae family, promote health, including anticancer bioactivity. Hydrolysis requires the plant enzyme myrosinase, giving myrosinase a key role in health promotion by brassica vegetables. Myrosinase measurement typically involves isolating crude protein, potentially underestimating activity in whole foods. Myrosinase activity was estimated using unextracted fresh tissues of five broccoli and three kale cultivars, measuring the formation of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) and/or glucose from exogenous sinigrin. A correlation between AITC and glucose formation was found, although activity was substantially lower measured as glucose release. Using exogenous sinigrin or endogenous glucoraphanin, concentrations of the hydrolysis products AITC and sulforaphane correlated (r = 0.859; p = 0.006), suggesting that broccoli shows no myrosinase selectivity among sinigrin and glucoraphanin. Measurement of AITC formation provides a novel, reliable estimation of myrosinase-dependent isothiocyanate formation suitable for use with whole vegetable food samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8094-8100
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 13 2014


  • broccoli
  • isothiocyanates
  • kale
  • myrosinase activity
  • sulforaphane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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