Vegetable crop management strategies to increase the quantity of phytochemicals.
Background Numerous epidemiological studies show an inverse association between vegetable consumption and chronic diseases such as different types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Phytochemicals in vegetables are known to be responsible for this observed protective effect. Therefore, raising the levels of these health–promoting substances in vegetables and/or using phytochemicals as food supplements would be desirable especially since dietary behaviour and the suboptimal efficiency of diet campaigns in industrial nations of Northern Europe and North America have resulted in a relatively low increase of vegetable consumption.
Aim of the study The aim of this paper is to suggest crop management strategies based on genotypic and ecophysiological effects for the production of vegetables enriched with phytochemicals which can be served as fresh market products or be used as raw material for functional foods and supplements.
Results Crop management strategies, representatively given here with broccoli, cauliflower and radish, demonstrated that the contents of individual phytochemicals could be increased 10–fold in broccoli and cauliflower, and 2–fold in radish.
Schreiner, M. 2005. Vegetable crop management strategies to increase the quantity of phytochemicals. European Journal of Nutrition 44 (2), 85-94.