Evaluation of different cooking conditions on broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) to improve the nutritional value and consumer acceptance

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2014 Sep;69(3):228-34. doi: 10.1007/s11130-014-0420-2.


The objective of this study was to gain insights into the effect of the cooking method on the liking as well as the retention of glucosinolates in broccoli. With this knowledge it can be concluded whether the health aspects of broccoli be improved by the cooking method without deteriorating sensory perception. For this, broccoli was cooked by methods commonly applied by consumers: boiling with a cold (water) start; boiling with a hot (water) start; and steaming. Firmness, greenness and amount of total glucosinolates in cooked broccoli were instrumentally determined. Sensory evaluation by untrained consumers (n = 99) for liking and sensory attributes intensity rating were performed on broccoli cooked by steaming and boiling-cold start at three time points, which resulted in 'high', 'medium', 'low' firm broccoli samples. At the end of cooking, steaming showed an increase in the amount of total glucosinolates (+17%). Boiling-hot start (-41%) and boiling-cold start (-50%) showed a decrease in amount of total glucosinolates. Sensory evaluation did not show statistically significant differences between steaming and boiling-cold start in liking at 'high' and 'medium' firmness; and in the attribute intensity ratings (except for juiciness at 'medium' firmness, and flavour at 'medium' and 'low' firmness). This study demonstrates that medium firm broccoli showed optimum liking and that steaming compared to boiled-cold start showed higher amount of glucosinolates. It is concluded that the health aspects of broccoli can be improved without reducing the sensory aspects by optimising the cooking method.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brassica / chemistry*
  • Color
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Cooking / methods*
  • Female
  • Glucosinolates / analysis
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Taste


  • Glucosinolates