Week 148 of Changing to a youthful phenotype with sprouts

Ending the week with a thorough 2023 study of microwaving broccoli in a bag:

“Appropriate processing and cooking technologies can effectively improve the content of bioactive compounds in vegetables. Effects of microwave bag cooking on broccoli floret quality attributes, glucosinolates (GLSs) content and hydrolysate production were investigated in this study.

Microwave bag cooking preserved the color of florets, enhanced total phenolic and flavonoid content, as well as total chlorophyll and ascorbic acid content. The majority of microorganisms were inactivated. Floret structure was greatly altered, enhancing antioxidant capacity and promoting release of GLSs and myrosinase activity.

Fresh broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) was purchased from a local market. Broccoli balls with uniform size, no pests and no mechanical damage were selected for the experiment. Broccoli was washed with deionized water and dried naturally before being cut at about 1 cm below the flower head. The microwave bag was filled with 25 g florets and sealed with a heat sealer.

To the best of our knowledge, microwave bag cooking was evaluated for the first time to explore effects on sulforaphane (SFN) and indole-3-carbinol (I3C) content. Microwave bag cooking at 400 W for 10 s resulted in the highest SFN content (870.18 ± 19.14 μg/g), which was about 3.99 times that of untreated florets.

sfn content

Microwave bag cooking at 800 W for 10 s resulted in the highest I3C content, which was 6.16 times that of untreated florets.

i3c content

Our findings demonstrated that I3C in supplements or vegetables also degraded quickly under various processing conditions, such as thermal processing, and that DIM and LTr1 were not only produced in acidic conditions. This filled a gap in the literature regarding effects of vegetable processing, particularly thermal treatment, on content of glucobrassicin degradation products. In brief, under suitable conditions of microwave bag cooking, content of indole hydrolyzate I3C can be significantly increased, whereas content of dimerization and trimerization products did not change as significantly as I3C.

This work demonstrated that microwave bag cooking was a quick and easy cooking method that could preserve potential health benefits of broccoli florets while also satisfying the needs of modern consumers.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996922014594 “Microwave bag cooking affects the quality, glucosinolates content and hydrolysate production of broccoli florets” (not freely available) Thanks to Professor Lei Zheng for providing a copy.

Can’t replicate this study’s cooking method completely. Ziploc bags are microwavable but a little different than heat-sealed bags. I also grow a broccoli / red cabbage / mustard sprout mix.

Using 25 grams of the mix and 40% power on my 1000W microwave for 10 seconds produced a sharper taste than did the method I’ve used. Scooping the mix out of a quart bag was messy.

I put the next 25 grams on a microwavable plate that snugly fit into a sealed bag. 80% power on a 1000W microwave for 10 seconds definitely tastes more cooked.


I’ll alternate between 400W and 800W for a while to see which one I prefer. It’s as quick and easy as claimed.



2 thoughts on “Week 148 of Changing to a youthful phenotype with sprouts

  1. Thank you for all you do. I worry about damaging the good stuff in my Broccoli sprouts so I just leave them raw and eat more. I eat between 90 and 120 grams raw twice a day.
    I use the logic you shared one when discussing trying to find broccoli seeds with more sulforaphane. It is impossible to really know you are getting high SFN seeds, so just eat more 🙂

  2. Hi Dave! How is changing your phenotype coming along so far?
    I settled on the 40% setting of my 1000W microwave. It’s taste is more pungent than fresh or the 80% setting.
    A reader commented that their broccoli / red cabbage / mustard sprout mix seemed less pungent with a new type of broccoli seeds. Thought that was good as far as palatability for continuing a daily intake of glucoraphanin, but maybe indicated less bioactive sprout contents. After all, the evolved purpose of isothiocyanates is to repel munching insects.

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