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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #308343

Research Project: Metabolite Profiling and Chemical Fingerprinting Methods for Characterization of Foods, Botanical Supplements, and Biological Materials

Location: Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory

Title: Metabolomic assessment reveals a stimulatory effect of calcium treatment on glucosinolates contents in broccoli microgreen

item Sun, Jianghao
item KOU, LIPING - Jiangxi University Of Traditional Chinese Medicine
item Geng, Ping
item HUANG, HUILIAN - Jiangxi Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item YANG, TIANBAO - Desiderio Finamore Veterinary Research Institute (FEPAGRO)
item LUO, YAGUANG - Desiderio Finamore Veterinary Research Institute (FEPAGRO)
item Chen, Pei

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/16/2015
Publication Date: 1/16/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Sun, J., Kou, L., Geng, P., Huang, H., Yang, T., Luo, Y., Chen, P. 2015. Metabolomic assessment reveals a stimulatory effect of calcium treatment on glucosinolates contents in broccoli microgreen. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 8:63(6):1863-1868.

Interpretive Summary: Glucosinolates are an important group of phytochemicals present in Brassicaceae. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italic) is an economically important vegetable for consumption of both florets and young seedlings. Metabolomics is an emerging field of “omics” research that focuses on high-throughput characterization of small molecule metabolites in biological matrices. It has shown its great usefulness in many areas of food science and nutrition researches such as food component analysis, food quality/authenticity assessment, food consumption monitoring, and physiological monitoring in food intervention or diet challenge studies. To discover the inner chemical changes of microgreen, we developed a non-targeted metabolomic approach to monitor the chemical profiles changes of broccoli microgreen from different growth period to different days after harvest. The goal of the study was to find out the compounds that responsible for the differences in chemical profiles of different group of samples and to further validate the findings with a quantitative method.

Technical Abstract: Preharvest calcium application has been shown to increase broccoli microgreen yield and extend shelf life. Here we investigated the effect of calcium application on its metabolome using ultra high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) tandem with mass spectrometry (HRMS). The data collected were analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projection to latent structural discriminate analysis (OPLS-DA). Chemical composition comparison showed that glucosinolates, a very important group of phytochemicals, were the major compounds enhanced by preharvest treatment with 10 mM CaCl2. Further targeted analysis using HPLC was used to quantify the individual and total glucosinolates. Aliphatic glucosinolates (glucoiberin, glucoiberverin, glucoerucin and glucoraphanin), indoleglucosinolates (glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassin and 4-methoxyglucobrassicin) and benzyl glucosinolates (gluconasturtiin) were significantly increased in CaCl2 treated microgreens. These results indicate that metabolomic approach is a powerful tool for evaluation of food quality.