by M. H. Traka, Institute of Food Research
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 9:03AM EDT
Field trials and genetic studies have shown that a new variety of broccoli reliably yields higher levels of a health-promoting compound.
Broccoli contains a compound called glucoraphanin, which has been shown to promote health by maintaining cardiovascular health and a reduction in the risk of cancer. A long term breeding programme to increase glucoraphanin levels has resulted in the commercial release of Beneforté broccoli. Beneforté was developed by crossing standard broccoli with a wild relative derived from Sicily.
Publicly funded research to develop Beneforté broccoli was led by two of the UK’s world-leading biological research institutes: the Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Centre, on the Norwich Research Park. They both receive strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Three years of field trials at over 50 different sites in Europe and the United States have shown that Beneforté broccoli consistently produces 2-3 times the amount of glucoraphanin than other leading varieties of broccoli, without affecting yield, quality or the levels of other nutrients.
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