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: 95.059, 95.059B, 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.
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Contact: Dr Georgina Pope
Quadram Institute Bioscience & John Innes Centre (Norwich, UK)