Changes in the content of health-promoting compounds and antioxidant activity of broccoli after domestic processing

Food Addit Contam. 2006 Nov;23(11):1088-98. doi: 10.1080/02652030600887594.


The effect of water- and steam-cooking on the content of vitamin C, polyphenols, carotenoids, tocopherols and glucosinolates, as well as on the antioxidant activity of broccoli, are reported. Flavonoids, phenolic acids, vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, lutein, and glucosinolates in domestically processed broccoli were quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods; total polyphenols were determined with Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. The antioxidant capacities of broccoli extracts were evaluated using the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) methods. The results indicated that steam-cooking of broccoli results in an increase in polyphenols, as well as the main glucosinolates and their total content as compared with fresh broccoli, whereas cooking in water has the opposite effect. Steam-cooking of broccoli has no influence on vitamin C, whereas cooking in water significantly lowers its content. Both, water- and steam-cooking of broccoli results in an increase in beta-carotene, lutein, and alpha- and gamma-tocopherols as compared with fresh broccoli. Similar effects of steaming and water-cooking of broccoli on their antioxidant activity were observed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis
  • Brassica / chemistry*
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Food Handling
  • Glucosinolates / analysis
  • Hot Temperature
  • Hydroxybenzoates / analysis
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Polyphenols
  • Tocopherols / analysis


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Glucosinolates
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols
  • Carotenoids
  • phenolic acid
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Tocopherols