Dr. Riccardo Matera
Raphanus sativus (L.) species comprises a large variety of dietary vegetables as radish and horseradish.
Among the wide Brassicaceae family, radish represents one of the most consumed vegetables in the world: easy to grow and with a good, sharp and spicy taste.
Features and benefits of radish
Mature radishes are rich of micro elements such as vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3 e C) and minerals (iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus) along with fiber.
Among the compounds of most interest there are a significant quantity of Glucosinolates, which originate isothiocyanates, with strong smell and spicy taste.
The isothiocyanates, diffused in several Brassica vegetables such as cabbage, radish, broccoli, mustard, rocket endowed with relevant antitumoral, antioxidant and detoxifying properties as shown by scientific in vitro and in vivo studies. Therefore, the intake of Brassica vegetables contributes to protect from several chronic degenerative disorders.
Contrary to other white Raphanus species, red radishes bear a lot of anthocyanins, the typical flavonoids, found in berries and red fruit as well. Natural occurrence of both groups of biocomponents (isothiocyanates and anthocyanins) with important antioxidant properties makes raphanus one of the most interesting health promoting food.
Raphanus Sango in laboratories of BeC
In particular, in the last few years, in R&D laboratories of BeC, we have recently studied juice of Sango sprouts.
It contains a high amount of isothiocyanates comparable to other Brassica sprouts (see our article Food Chemistry 2012), but it contain surprisingly a huge amount of anthocyanins, found only in blueberry and raspberry.
Moreover, sprouts offers a wide anthocyanins diversity in comparison to mature plant, where the differentiation produces only a few major components.
Anthocyanins, as shown by several epidemiologic studies, endowed with protective actions from risks related to cardiovascular pathologies, cancer and other chronic degenerative disorders. Such richness and structural diversity in Sango sprouts could strengthen the important dietary value.
During our Research project, we identified and characterized different unknown anthocyanins (see our article Food Chemistry 2015) which share cyanidin as structural motif making radish sprouts a unique food in vegetables.
Thanks to a proficient collaboration with University of Bologna it was possible to study antioxidant properties of isolated anthocyanins from Sango which were comparable to antioxidant profile of vitamin E, we highlighted the importance of structural diversity of Sango.
Anthocyanins, moreover, are responsible of red-violet colour of the sprouts and of the significant properties of sharp tasted isothiocyanates. Due to high content of dietary ingredients such as vitamins ad minerals, along with isothiocyanates and anthocyanins, Sango helps in strengthen muscular tissues and sight, it boasts antiseptic action and improves organism’s barriers, stimulates digestion and protect from action of free radicals.
We are proud to share with you our studies and we’ll let you know future developments!