Influence of fermentation on glucosinolates and glucobrassicin degradation products in sauerkraut

Food Chem. 2016 Jan 1;190:755-762. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.06.012. Epub 2015 Jun 4.


A systematic investigation was carried out on the influence of fermentation on glucosinolates and their degradation products from fresh raw cabbage, throughout fermentation at 20 °C and storage at 4 °C. Glucosinolates were degraded dramatically between Day 2 and 5 of fermentation and by Day 7 there was no detectable amount of glucosinolates left. Fermentation led to formation of potential bioactive compounds ascorbigen (13.0 μmol/100 g FW) and indole-3-carbinol (4.52 μmol/100g FW) with their higher concentrations from Day 5 to Day 9. However, during storage indole-3-carbinol slowly degraded to 0.68 μmol/100 g FW, while ascorbigen was relatively stable from Week 4 until Week 8 at 6.78 μmol/100 g FW. In contrast, the content of indole-3-acetonitrile decreased rapidly during fermentation from 3.6 to 0.14 μmol/100 g FW. The results imply a maximum of health beneficial compounds after fermentation (7-9 days) in contrast to raw cabbage or stored sauerkraut.

Keywords: Ascorbigen; Bioactive compounds; Fermentation; Glucobrassicin degradation products; Glucosinolates; Indole-3-acetonitrile; Indole-3-carbinol; Lactic acid bacteria; Sauerkraut; White cabbage.

MeSH terms

  • Brassica / chemistry*
  • Fermentation
  • Glucosinolates / chemistry*
  • Indoles / chemistry*


  • Glucosinolates
  • Indoles
  • indole-3-acetonitrile
  • indole-3-carbinol
  • glucobrassicin