Changes in Isothiocyanate Levels in Korean Chinese Cabbage Leaves during Kimchi Storage

  • Hong, Eun-Young (Department of Food and Nutrition, DukSung Women's University) ;
  • Kim, Gun-Hee (Department of Food and Nutrition, DukSung Women's University)
  • Published : 2006.10.30


Glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by the enzyme myrosinase and are mainly found in cruciferous vegetables such as Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris L. ssp. pekinensis). lsothiocyanates (ITCs) are glucosinolate degradation products with reported anticarcinogenic properties. Korean Chinese cabbage in the form of 'kimchi' is a staple part of the Korean diet. In this study, we examined the effects of storage temperature and duration on glucosinolate, ITC, soluble sugar, and organic acid levels in kimchi. Changes in pH and the impact of various parts of the Korean Chinese cabbage being used during the preparation of the dish were also assessed. Extracted ITC levels, analyzed via gas chromatography (GC) and GC/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), were higher in the midrib parts than in the cabbage leaves after storage at both 4 and $20^{\circ}C$. During storage, organic acid levels increased while soluble sugars were depleted. The pH initially increased (after 1 day at $20^{\circ}C$, and 1 week at $4^{\circ}C$), but subsequently decreased over time at both temperatures. Glucosinolate and ITC levels increased in the beginning of storage but then generally fell during further storage. Our data suggest that acidity-related reduction in myrosinase activity during storage may decrease glucosinolate and ITC levels. The changes in these levels depended on the storage conditions and the Korean Chinese cabbage parts used for the kimchi preparation.


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