Abstract: Sulphur (S) fertilization is essential for primary and secondary metabolism in cruciferous foods. Deficient, suboptimal, or excessive S affects the growth and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in adult plants. Nevertheless, there is little information regarding the influence of S fertilization on sprouts and seedlings. An experiment was set up to evaluate the effect of S fertilization, supplied as K2SO4 at 0, 15, 30, and 60 mg/L, on the glucosinolate content of broccoli sprouts during the germination course of 3, 6, 9, and 12 d after sowing. Glucosinolate concentration was strongly influenced by germination, causing a rapid increase during the first 3 d after sowing, and decreasing afterwards. The S supply increased aliphatic and total glucosinolate content at the end of the monitored sprouting period. S‐treated sprouts, with S15, S30, and S60 at 9 and 12 d after sowing presented enhanced glucosinolate content. Overall, both germination time and S fertilization were key factors in maximizing the bioactive health‐promoting phytochemicals of broccoli.
Practical Application: Germination with sulphate is a simple and inexpensive way to obtain sprouts that contain much higher levels of glucosinolates (health promoting compounds), than the corresponding florets from the same seeds.
Pérez‐Balibrea, Santiago; Moreno, Diego A.; García‐Viguera, Cristina
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