Recent studies showed that Brassica vegetables are rich in numerous health-promoting compounds such as carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and glucosinolates (GLS), as well as isothiocyanates (ITCs) and are involved in health promotion upon consumption. ITCs are breakdown products of GLS, and typically used in the food industry as a food preservative and colouring agent. They are also used in the pharmaceutical industry due to their several pharmacological properties such as antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, anti-inflammatory, and chemoprotective effects, etc. Due to their widespread application in food and pharmaceuticals, the present study was designed to extract ITCs from York cabbage. In order to optimise the fermentation-assisted extraction process for maximum yield of ITCs from York cabbage, Box-Behnken design (BBD) combined with response surface methodology (RSM) was applied. Additionally, the GLS content of York cabbage was quantified and the effect of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on GLS was evaluated. A range of GLS such as glucoraphanin, glucoiberin, glucobrassicin, sinigrin, gluconapin, neoglucobrassicin and 4-methoxyglucobrassicin were identified and quantified in fresh York cabbage. The experimental data obtained were fitted to a second-order polynomial equation using multiple regression analysis, and also examined by appropriate statistical methods. LAB facilitated the degradation of GLS, and the consequent formation of breakdown products such as ITCs. Results showed that the solid-to-liquid (S/L) ratio, fermentation time and agitation rate had a significant effect on the yield of ITCs (2.2 times increment). The optimum fermentation conditions to achieve a higher ITCs extraction yield were: S/L ratio of 0.25 w
, fermentation time of 36 h, and agitation rate of 200 rpm. The obtained yields of ITCs (45.62 ± 2.13 μM sulforaphane equivalent (SFE)/mL) were comparable to the optimised conditions, indicating the accuracy of the model for the fermentation-assisted extraction of ITCs. This method has good prospects in industrial applications for the extraction of ITCs, and can be helpful in the food, pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors.
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