A large proportion of broccoli biomass is lost during primary production, distribution, processing, and consumption. This biomass is rich in polyphenols and glucosinolates and can be used for the production of bioactive rich ingredients for food and nutraceutical applications. This study evaluated thermosonication (TS) (18 kHz, 0.6 W/g, 40–60 °C, 3–7 min) for the pre-treatment of broccoli florets to enhance enzymatic conversion of glucoraphanin into the bioactive sulforaphane. TS significantly increased sulforaphane yield, despite a decrease in myrosinase activity with increasing treatment intensity. The highest sulforaphane yield of ~2.9 times that of untreated broccoli was observed for broccoli thermosonicated for 7 min at 60 °C, which was 15.8% higher than the corresponding yield for thermal processing without sonication (TP) at the same condition. This was accompanied by increase in the residual level of glucoraphanin (~1.8 and 2.3 time respectively after TP and TS at 60 °C for 7 min compared to control samples) indicating that treatment-induced release of bound glucoraphanin from the cell wall matrix and improved accessibility could be at least partially responsible for the enhanced sulforaphane yield. The result indicates the potential of TS for the conversion of broccoli biomass into high sulforaphane broccoli-based ingredients.
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