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Growing Hardier Crops for Better Health: Salinity Tolerance and the Nutritional Value of Broccoli

Lopez-Berenguer, Carmen, Martinez-Ballesta, Maria del Carmen, Moreno, Diego A., Carvajal, Micaela, Garcia-Viguera, Cristina
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2009 v.57 no.2 pp. 572-578
Brassica oleracea var. italica, broccoli, florets, vegetable growing, salt tolerance, sodium chloride, salt stress, food composition, glucosinolates, phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, nutritive value, nutrient content, vitamin content
To evaluate the variations in the nutritional components of a broccoli cultivar under saline stress, two different NaCl concentrations (40 and 80 mM) were assayed. Glucosinolates, phenolic compounds, and ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acids (vitamin C) were analyzed by HPLC, and mineral composition was determined by ICP spectrophotometry. Qualitative differences were observed for several bioactive compounds depending on the plant organ and the intensity of the salt stress. Glucosinolate content showed the most significant increase in the florets; phenolic compounds also increased in the florets, whereas no variation in the vitamin C content was observed as a result of the saline treatments. The mineral composition of the edible parts of the inflorescences remained within the range of the recommended values for human consumption. Overall, the nutritional quality of the edible florets of broccoli was improved under moderate saline stress.