Journal of the science of food and agriculture

Optimization of methyl jasmonate application to broccoli florets to enhance health-promoting phytochemical content.

PMID 24338840


Spray treatment of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) has been shown to increase glucosinolate (GS) concentrations and health-promoting activity in Brassica vegetables. Since there is no reported standardized protocol, several MeJA treatment studies have been conducted to maximize human health bioactivity using the F1 broccoli cultivar 'Green Magic'. Foliar MeJA application 4 days prior to harvest of broccoli at commercial maturity resulted in enhanced total GS concentrations. Although a single application of 250 µmol L(-1) MeJA maximized GS concentrations in broccoli florets, two days of consecutive treatments (4 and 3 days prior to harvest) of 250 µmol L(-1) MeJA further enhanced neoglucobrassicin concentrations and floret extract quinone reductase (QR)-inducing activity. With increasing concentrations of MeJA in spray applications to broccoli florets, concentrations of the glucosinolates glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and neoglucobrassicin and the isothiocyanate sulforaphane as well as anticancer and anti-inflammatory bioactivities as measured by QR induction and inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) production respectively were significantly increased. Concentrations of these phytochemicals showed strong positive correlations with QR-inducing and NO-inhibitory activities. These application protocols were found to maximize GS and GS hydrolysis product concentrations and putatively enhance the health-promoting properties of broccoli heads for consumers.