Changes in quercetin and kaempferol concentrations during broccoli head ontogeny in three broccoli cultivars


  • A. Krumbein
  • H. Saeger-Fink
  • I. Schonhof


Three broccoli cultivars – spear broccoli ‘Emperor’, crown broccoli ‘Marathon’ and violet broccoli ‘Viola’ – were harvested during head ontogeny from start of head development until over maturity stage (five stages) in three different years. The aglycones quercetin and kaempferol were analysed at optimised conditions of acid hydrolysis by HPLC. Heads of over maturity stage had the highest contents of quercetin and kaempferol. However, the genotype fundamentally determined the quantity and course of the increase in flavonols. Mini broccoli, as a new trend to market vegetables, has lower content of flavonols than the commercial stage, which indicates a reduction in health potentials. Harvesting broccoli heads of over maturity stage should be used as raw material, e.g. for the design of new functional foods.