Simultaneous extraction and quantitation of carotenoids, chlorophylls, and tocopherols in brassica vegetables. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, July 2012. Guzman I, Yousef GG, Brown AF.
NC State University Plants for Human Health Institute.
Brassica oleracea vegetables, such as broccoli (B. oleracea L. var. italica) and cauliflower (B. oleracea L. var. botrytis), are known to contain bioactive compounds associated with health, including three classes of photosynthetic lipid-soluble compounds: carotenoids, chlorophylls, and tocopherols. Carotenoids and chlorophylls are photosynthetic pigments. Tocopherols have vitamin E activity. Due to genetic and environmental variables, the amounts present in vegetables are not constant. To aid breeders in the development of Brassica cultivars with higher provitamin A and vitamin E contents and antioxidant activity, a more efficient method was developed to quantitate carotenoids, chlorophylls, and tocopherols in the edible portions of broccoli and cauliflower. The novel UPLC method separated five carotenoids, two chlorophylls, and two tocopherols in a single 30 min run, reducing the run time by half compared to previously published protocols. The objective of the study was to develop a faster, more effective extraction and quantitation methodology to screen large populations of Brassica germplasm, thus aiding breeders in producing superior vegetables with enhanced phytonutrient profiles.