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ENATGLUPRO- Enzymatic and non-enzymatic degradative reactions during the thermal treatment of glucosinolates and their reaction products


04.2016 - 03.2019

Glucosinolates are secondary plant metabolites in crops of the Brassicaceae family (e.g. broccoli, cabbage) that may help prevent cancer. Especially some of the enzymatically formed breakdown products that occur after cell-disruption are discussed in this context (isothiocyanates).

Cooperation Partners

University Hamburg
Wageningen University

However, many of these vegetables are not consumed raw but rather after thermal processing leading to an inactivation of the enzymes responsible for glucosinolate cleavage. Nevertheless, non-enzymatical degradation may occur due to heat effects. Breakdown products such as nitriles will be formed primarily and further degradation products are formed from unstable intermediate substances. Moreover, a change in flavor was reported that might be caused by thermally-induced degradation products of the mainly enzymatically formed isothiocyanates or epithionitriles.

At the moment it is not known to which extent and how long enzymatic and non-enzymatic degradation proceed simultaneously or how they interact. Therefore, this project will study the impact of both breakdown pathways on the degradation of glucosinolates in parallel. Only based on such data conclusions concerning the uptake of potentially bioactive compounds can be drawn. Additionally, the project will address thermally-induced subsequent reactions of the breakdown products. Structure-reactivity relations will be studied as well as the flavor impact of formed compounds.

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