Antiproliferative effects of fresh and thermal processed green and red cultivars of curly kale (Brassica oleracea L. convar. acephala var. sabellica)

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Aug 1;60(30):7375-83. doi: 10.1021/jf300875f. Epub 2012 Jul 17.


Brassica vegetables contain a diverse range of phytochemicals with biological properties such as antioxidant and anticancer activity. However, knowledge about how biological activities are affected by processing is lacking. A green cultivar and a red cultivar of curly kale were evaluated for water/methanol-soluble phytochemicals before and after processing involving blanching, freeze storage, and boil-in-bag heat treatment. In both kale cultivars, processing resulted in a significant decrease of total phenolics, antioxidant capacity, and content and distribution of flavonols, anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamic acids, glucosinolates, and vitamin C. Interestingly, the red curly kale cultivar had a higher capacity to withstand thermal loss of phytochemicals. The extracts of both green and red curly kale inhibited the cell proliferation of three human colon cancer cell lines (Caco-2, HT-29, and HCT 116). However, extracts from fresh plant material had a significantly stronger antiproliferative effect than extracts from processed plant material.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Antineoplastic Agents / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis
  • Brassica / chemistry*
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Coumaric Acids / analysis
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Glucosinolates / analysis
  • HCT116 Cells
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Vegetables / chemistry*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Coumaric Acids
  • Glucosinolates
  • Ascorbic Acid