Stir-Frying of Chinese Cabbage and Pakchoi Retains Health-Promoting Glucosinolates

Probo Y. Nugrahedi, Teresa Oliviero*, Jenneke K. Heising, Matthijs Dekker, Ruud Verkerk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Stir-frying is a cooking method, originating from Asia, in which food is fried in small amount of very hot oil. Nowadays in many other parts of the world stir-frying is a very popular method to prepare vegetables, because it is fast and fried vegetables are tasty. However, the retention of phytochemicals like the health-beneficial glucosinolates in Brassica vegetables is less explored for stir-frying in comparison to other cooking methods. This study investigates the retention of glucosinolates in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis) and pakchoi (Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis) as affected by stir-frying at various cooking durations and temperatures. Stir-frying experiments were performed at set pan temperatures ranging from 160 to 250 °C for a duration of 1 to 8 min. Results showed that aliphatic glucobrassicanapin is the most abundant glucosinolate identified in fresh Chinese cabbage and pakchoi, contributing for 48 and 63% of the total glucosinolate content, respectively, followed by glucoiberin and gluconapin. Stir-frying retains the glucosinolates even at the highest temperature applied. Such retention is explained by the quick inactivation of the glucosinolate-hydrolytic enzyme myrosinase during the first minutes of frying, and by the thermal stability of the glucosinolates at those temperature/time conditions. Moreover, due to the absence of a separate water phase, leaching losses did not occur, in contrast to what is observed when boiling Brassica vegetables. These results show that stir-frying may be a suitable health-beneficial cooking option that prevents the loss of glucosinolates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-444
JournalPlant Foods for Human Nutrition
Issue number4
Early online date13 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Chinese cabbage
  • Glucosinolate
  • Pakchoi
  • Stir-fry


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