IANS: Is the super-food broccoli an essential part of your diet? Now learn how to preserve it for longer periods for enhanced anti-cancer properties.
Researchers at University of Illinois have found a way to prolong the vegetable’s shelf life.
The method is a natural and inexpensive way to produce broccoli that won’t spoil so quickly on your refrigerator shelf.
quot;We figured out how to increase the anti-cancer activity in broccoli. The idea is to get it from the farm to the grocery store within two to three days,quot; said Jack Juvik, a crop sciences researcher at University of Illinois.
Juvik explained that the combined application of two compounds - natural products extracted from plants - increased the presence of cancer-fighting agents in broccoli while prolonging the post-harvest storage period.
The researchers first used methyl jasmonate (MeJA), a non-toxic compound to increase the broccoli’s anti-cancer potential.
MeJA initiates a process of gene activity affiliated with the biosynthesis of glucosinolates (GS) which are identified as potent cancer-preventative agents.
However, MeJA also signals a network of genes that lead to plant decay by inducing the release of ethylene.
The researchers then applied compound 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) after harvesting the same broccoli that was treated with MeJA before harvest.
quot;This compound basically stops or dramatically slows down the decay associated with ethylene. The combination is good,quot; informed Juvik.
quot;It is very cheap. It takes very little to elevate all the desirable aspects. The compound is volatile and disappears from the product after about 10 hours,quot; he said.
The use of these treatments could make a great impact on important global dilemmas such as food security issues and health-care costs.
© Khaleej TimesFeb 2014