Cauliflower (flower/stalk)

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is a member of the mustard family, Brassicaceae. The edible part of cauliflower is its large flower head, which is usually white but can also be colored light green or purple. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin K, as well as a source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium and manganese 1.

Recent attention has been devoted to an additional component of cruciferous vegetables, namely, the glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds that can be broken down in the human gastrointestinal tract. Isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane, are the metabolites of glucosinolates that can then be absorbed through the intestine 2. Cauliflower has a moderate glucosinolate content when compared with other cruciferous vegetables 3.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. United States Department of Agriculture. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21. 2008.
  2. Lund E. Non-nutritive bioactive constituents of plants: dietary sources and health benefits of glucosinolates. Int J Vitam.Nutr Res 2003;73:135-43.
  3. McNaughton SA, Marks GC. Development of a food composition database for the estimation of dietary intakes of glucosinolates, the biologically active constituents of cruciferous vegetables. Br J Nutr 2003;90:687-97.