High Glucoraphanin Broccoli

Super Broccoli

Glucoraphanin is a naturally occurring compound found in broccoli. The work of Professor Richard Mithen at the Quadram Institute Bioscience and John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park which are strategically funded by the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation) focussed on developing a broccoli, using traditional breeding techniques, to contain significantly higher amounts of glucoraphanin compared to standard broccoli varieties.

Many studies around the world have associated broccoli with reducing the risks of developing certain chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, and on-going research is continuing to investigate the role of glucoraphanin and the links between glucoraphanin, antioxidants, metabolism and disease. Glucoraphanin is converted into sulphoraphane by the beneficial bacteria that live in our digestive systems. A few hours after eating broccoli, sulphoraphane is seen in our blood stream. From here, it enters the cells of our liver and other tissues, where it can activate our bodies’ antioxidant defences.

From identifying a high-glucoraphanin broccoli relative in the 1980s, it has taken many years of plant breeding, field trials and studies into potential health and nutritional benefits of consuming glucoraphanin-rich broccoli. PBL secured the intellectual property rights in this innovation, on behalf of the John Innes Centre and the Quadram Institute Bioscience (formerly the Institute and Food Research) and has managed its development and commercialisation since 1996. This led to the launch of Beneforté broccoli to supermarket shelves in 2011. This “Super Broccoli” which was naturally bred to contain 2-3 times more glucoraphanin.

Tech ID: 99.059, 99.059B, 09.485 & 12.530


Armah C N et al (2013).  A diet rich in high glucoraphanin broccoli interacts with genotype to reduce discordance in plasma metabolite profiles through modulating mitochondrial disfunction.  Am J Clin Nutr; 98(3): 712-722.  https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.113.065235

Traka M H et al (2013).  Genetic regulation of glucoraphanin accumulation in Beneforté® broccoli.  New Phytologist; 198(4): 1085-1095.  https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.12232

New research will help make foods healthier, safer and more nutritious.  Technology Strategy Board, Oct 2011.

Jeffery E H and Araya M (2009).  Physiological effects of broccoli consumption.  Phytochemistry Reviews; 8 (1): 283-298.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-008-9106-4

Traka M and Mithen R (2009).  Glucosinolates, isothiocyanates and human health.  Phytochemistry Reviews; 8(1): 269-282.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-008-9103-7

Traka M et al (2008).  Broccoli Consumption Interacts with GSTM1 to Perturb Oncogenic Signalling Pathways in the Prostate.  PLoS One; 3(7): e2568.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0002568

Kirsh V A et al (2007).  Prospective Study of Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Prostate Cancer.  JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst; 99(15): 1200-1209.  https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djm065

Juge N, Mithen R F and Traka M (2007).  Molecular basis for chemoprevention by sulforaphane: a comprehensive review.  Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences; 64(9): 1105-1127.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-007-6484-5

Amy V Gasper et al (2005).  Glutathione S-transferase M1 polymorphism and metabolism of sulforaphane from standard and high-glucosinolate broccoli.  Am J Clin Nutr; 82(6): 1283-1291.  https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/82.6.1283

Tawfiq N et al (1995).  Dietary glucosinolates as blocking agents against carcinogenesis: glucosinolate breakdown products assessed by induction of quinone reductase activity in murine hepa1c1c7 cells.  Carcinogenesis; 16(5): 1191-1194.  https://doi.org/10.1093/carcin/16.5.1191

Joseph M A et al (2004).  Cruciferous Vegetables, Genetic Polymorphisms in Glutathione S-Transferases M1 and T1, and Prostate Cancer Risk.  Nutr Cancer; 50(2): 206-213.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327914nc5002_11

Lin J et al (2009).  Dietary Intake of Vegetables and Fruits and the Modification Effects of Gstm1 and Nat2 Genotypes on Bladder Cancer Risk.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers; 18(7): 2090-7.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-1174

Fowke J H et al (2003).  Urinary Isothiocyanate Levels, Brassica, and Human Breast Cancer.  Cancer Research; 63(14): 3980-3986.  http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/63/14/3980.full

Joshipura K J et al (1999).  Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Relation to Risk of Ischemic Stroke.  JAMA; 282(13): 1233-1239.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.282.13.1233

Richman E L, Carroll P R and Chan J M (2012).  Vegetable and Fruit Intake after Diagnosis and Risk of Prostate Cancer Progression.  Int J Cancer; 131(1): 201-210.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.26348

Wu Q J et al (2013).  Cruciferous Vegetables Intake and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies.  Ann Oncol; 24(4): 1079-1087.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mds601

Liu B et al (2012).  Cruciferous Vegetables Intake and Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Meta-Analysis.  Int J Urol; 19(2): 134-141.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-2042.2011.02906.x

Liu X and Lv K (2013).  Cruciferous Vegetables Intake Is Inversely Associated with Risk of Breast Cancer: A Meta-Analysis.  Breast; 22(3): 309-313.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2012.07.013

Armah C N et al (2015).  A diet rich in high glucoraphanin broccoli reduces plasma LDL cholesterol: evidence from randomised controlled trials.  Molecular Nutrition and Food Research; 59(5): 918-926.  https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201400863

Contact: Dr Georgina Pope

Richard Mithen
Quadram Institute Bioscience & John Innes Centre (Norwich, UK)