Analysis of Phytochemical Composition and Chemoprotective Capacity of Rocket (Eruca sativa and Diplotaxis tenuifolia) Leafy Salad Following Cultivation in Different Environments
Jin, J., Koroleva, O., Gibson, T. M., Swanston, J., Magan, J., Zhang, Y. , Rowland, I. R. and Wagstaff, C. (2009) Analysis of Phytochemical Composition and Chemoprotective Capacity of Rocket (Eruca sativa and Diplotaxis tenuifolia) Leafy Salad Following Cultivation in Different Environments. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry , 57 (12). pp. 5227-5234. ISSN 0021-8561
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1021/jf9002973
Consumption of green leafy vegetables is associated with reduced risk of several types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. These beneficial effects are attributed to a range of phytochemicals including flavonoids and glucosinolates, both of which are found in high levels in Brassicaceous crops. Rocket is the general name attributed to cultivars of Eruca sativa and Diplotaxis tenufolia, known as salad rocket and wild rocket, respectively. We have shown that different light levels during the cultivation period of these crops have a significant impact on the levels of flavonoids present in the crop at harvest, with over 15-fold increase achieved in quercetin, isorhamnetin, and cyanidin in high light conditions. Postharvest storage further affects the levels of both flavonoids and glucosinolates, with cyanidin increasing during shelf life and some glucosinolates, such as glucoiberverin, being reduced over the same storage period. In vitro assays using human colon cell lines demonstrate that glucosinolate-rich extracts of Eruca sativa cv. Sky, but not Diplotaxis tenufolia cv. Voyager, confer significant resistance to oxidative stress on the cells, which is indicative of the chemoprotective properties of the leaves from this species. Our findings indicate that both pre and postharvest environment and genotypic selection, when developing new lines of Brassicaceous vegetables, are important considerations with the goal of improving human nutrition and health.