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High glucosinolate content in rocket leaves (Diplotaxis tenuifolia and Eruca sativa) after multiple harvests is associated with increased bitterness, pungency, and reduced consumer liking

Bell, L. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2895-2030, Lignou, S. and Wagstaff, C. (2020) High glucosinolate content in rocket leaves (Diplotaxis tenuifolia and Eruca sativa) after multiple harvests is associated with increased bitterness, pungency, and reduced consumer liking. Foods. ISSN 2304-8158

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/foods9121799

Abstract/Summary

Rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia and Eruca sativa) leaves delivered to the UK market are variable in appearance, taste, and flavour over the growing season. This study presents sensory and consumer analyses of rocket produce delivered to the UK over the course of one year, and evaluated the contribution of environmental and cultivation factors upon quality traits and phytochemicals called glucosinolates (GSLs). GSL abundance was positively correlated with higher average growth temperatures during the crop cycle, as well as perceptions of pepperiness, bitterness, and hotness. This in turn was associated with reduced liking, and corresponded to low consumer acceptance. Conversely, leaves with greater sugar content were perceived as more sweet, and had a higher correlation with consumer acceptance of the test panel. First cut leaves of rocket were favored more by consumers, with multiple leaf cuts associated with low acceptance and higher glucosinolate concentrations. Our data suggest that the practice of harvesting rocket crops multiple times reduces consumer acceptability due to increases in GSLs, and the associated bitter, hot and peppery perceptions some of their hydrolysis products produce. This may have significant implications for cultivation practices during seasonal transitions, where leaves typically receive multiple harvests and longer growth cycles.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Crops Research Group
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Food Research Group
ID Code:94713
Publisher:MDPI

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