Nitrogen split dose fertilization, plant age and frost effects on phytochemical content and sensory properties of curly kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. sabellica).
We investigated how concentrations of sensory relevant compounds: glucosinolates (GLSs), flavonoid glycosides, hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives and sugars in kale responded to split dose and reduced nitrogen (N) fertilization, plant age and controlled frost exposure. In addition, frost effects on sensory properties combined with N supply were assessed.
Seventeen week old kale plants showed decreased aliphatic GLSs at split dose N fertilization; whereas reduced N increased aliphatic and total GLSs. Ontogenetic effects were demonstrated for all compounds: sugars, aliphatic and total GLSs increased throughout plant development, whereas kaempferol and total flavonoid glycosides showed higher concentrations in 13 week old plants. Controlled frost exposure altered sugar composition slightly, but not GLSs or flavonoid glycosides. Reduced N supply resulted in less bitterness, astringency and pungent aroma, whereas frost exposure mainly influenced aroma and texture. N treatment explained most of the sensory variation. Producers should not rely on frost only to obtain altered sensory properties.
Groenbaek, M.; Jensen, S.; Neugart, S.; Schreiner, M.; Kidmose, U.; Kristensen, H.L. 2016. Nitrogen split dose fertilization, plant age and frost effects on phytochemical content and sensory properties of curly kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. sabellica). Food Chemistry 197, 530-538.