Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Food Quality 30 (2007) 218–227.


© 2007, The Author(s)


Turnip greens (Brassica rapa) are commonly consumed in the southern U.S.A. Typically, they have a bitter taste, which increases with maturity, probably because of increased levels of glucosinolates. While glucosinolate degradation products have been isolated from various members of the Brassica family, the effect of variety and maturity on these products has not been determined. This study focused on the glucosinolate degradation products of three varieties of turnip greens: Purple Top, Seven Top and Tokyo Cross, harvested 45, 60 and 75 days after planting. Four volatile components (benzene acetonitrile, benzene propane nitrile, 1H-indole-3-acetonitrile and benzene ethyl isothiocyanate) were isolated, identified and quantified. All increased significantly (P < 0.05) as the greens matured; however, only benzene propane nitrile and 1H-indole-3-acetonitrile were significantly affected (P < 0.05) by variety.