Brassica Growers Conference 2010: Institute of Food Research studies highlight greens' 'superfood' credentials

Research carried out at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich and by scientists across the globe is helping to prove that brassicas really do have "superfood" qualities.

The institute's Professor Richard Mithen, speaking at this year's Brassica Growers Conference in Lincoln, said there is already good evidence that consuming more than one brassica portion a week can help fight prostrate cancer as results show a 45% reduction in localised regions developing.

Mithen added that research also shows that brassicas can help also help fight lung cancer. He said: "The body breaks the foods down into glucosinolates. They are very potent chemicals. We think these compounds are largely responsible for the health benefits of brassicas.

"If you put this compound on damaged prostrate cells they selectively kill cells which might turn into cancerous growths."

A project at Norwich has been looking at enhancing glucosinolates by marker-assisted breeding.

Mithen said: "We started with a wild plant and crossed it with broccoli lines.

"The flavours seemed to be better-tasting than we expected. What I think has happened is that we have not increased the sulphur — it's the same, we have just redistributed it. What I hope we will find is [how to] enhance health and flavour."

He added: "It's a challenge for the industry to channel our work into a message the public can understand. The message we have to get across to consumers is that they have a complete package of nutrients — all of which do you good."

 

Subscribe to Horticulture Week for more news, more in-depth features and more technical and market info.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What is being done to develop biocontrols against orchard pests?

What is being done to develop biocontrols against orchard pests?

The SIVAL horticultural trade show in Angers, France, this week (16-18 January) heard about several initiatives to promote more environmentally sustainable orchard growing.

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

Published on 11 January, the Government's long-awaited 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment' brings together a number of policy strands into a single framework that will impact many sectors, not least fresh produce, over the coming decades.

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

At the Oxford Farming Conference, whose theme was "embracing change", Defra secretary Michael Gove expanded on what a post-Brexit UK agriculture and land-use policy will look like and how it will impact farmers and growers.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon