Reactivity and stability of glucosinolates and their breakdown products in foods

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Oct 20;53(43):11430-50. doi: 10.1002/anie.201402639. Epub 2014 Aug 27.


The chemistry of glucosinolates and their behavior during food processing is very complex. Their instability leads to the formation of a bunch of breakdown and reaction products that are very often reactive themselves. Although excessive consumption of cabbage varieties has been thought for long time to have adverse, especially goitrogenic effects, nowadays, epidemiologic studies provide data that there might be beneficial health effects as well. Especially Brassica vegetables, such as broccoli, radish, or cabbage, are rich in these interesting plant metabolites. However, information on the bioactivity of glucosinolates is only valuable when one knows which compounds are formed during processing and subsequent consumption. This review provides a comprehensive, in-depth overview on the chemical reactivity of different glucosinolates and breakdown products thereof during food preparation.

Keywords: glucosinolates; glycoconjugates; isothiocyanates; natural products; reactions in food.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Food Handling
  • Food*
  • Glucosinolates / chemistry*


  • Glucosinolates