Author(s): Bennett RN, Rosa EA, Mellon FA, Kroon PA
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Abstract As an influence of the Mediterranean diet, rocket species such as Eruca sativa L., Diplotaxis species, and Bunias orientalis L. are eaten all over the world at different ontogenic stages in salads and soups. They are all species within the plant order Capparales (glucosinolate-containing species), and all are from the family Brassicaceae. Predominantly, the leaves of these species are eaten raw or cooked, although Eruca flowers are also consumed. There is considerable potential with raw plant material for a higher exposure to bioactive phytochemicals such as glucosinolates, their hydrolysis products, and also phenolics, flavonoids, and vitamins such as vitamin C. These compounds are susceptible to ontogenic variation, and the few published studies that have addressed this topic have been inconsistent. Thus, an ontogenic study was performed and all samples were analyzed using a previously developed robust liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method for the identification and quantification of the major phytochemicals in all tissues of the rocket species. Seeds and roots of both Eruca and Diplotaxis contained predominantly 4-methylthiobutylglucosinolate. Leaves of Eruca and Diplotaxis contained high amounts of 4-mercaptobutylglucosinolate with lower levels of 4-methylthiobutlyglucosinolate and 4-methylsulfinylbutylglucosinolate. Flowers of Eruca and Diplotaxiscontained predominantly 4-methylsulfinylbutyl-glucosinolate. In addition, roots of both Diplotaxisspecies contained 4-hydroxybenzylglucosinolate but 4-hydroxybenzylglucosinolate was absent from roots of Eruca. Seeds and seedlings of all Eruca contained N-heterocyclic compounds but no sinapine, whereas Diplotaxis contained sinapine but not the N-heterocycles. In all tissues of B. orientalis, 4-hydroxybenzylglucosinolate and 4-methylsulfinyl-3-butenylglucosinolate were predominant. All rocket tissues, except roots, contained significant levels of polyglycosylated flavonoids, with/without hydroxycinnamoyl acylation. The core aglycones were kaempferol, quercetin, and isorhamnetin. The exception was B. orientalis, which had a negligible seed flavonoid content as compared with the other species. Anthocyanins were only detected in Eruca flowers and consisted of a complex pattern of at least 16 different anthocyanins.
This article was published in J Agric Food Chem
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy