Taiwan FDA announces limits, guidelines for broccoli seed extract consumption

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

The Taiwan FDA has permitted broccoli seed extract consumption of up to 115mg daily. ©Getty Images
The Taiwan FDA has permitted broccoli seed extract consumption of up to 115mg daily. ©Getty Images

Related tags broccoli seed extract Taiwan FDA

The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced new rules for broccoli seed extract consumption, including limiting the daily dosage to 115mg and prohibiting consumption among pregnant and lactating women.

The new rules have come into effect on June 8, following a 60-day public consultation conducted earlier in February.

Broccoli seed extract contains glucoraphanin – a precursor of sulforaphane which is reported to produce health benefits such as improving processing and working memory.

In its latest announcement​, the FDA has published the standards for usage of the seed extract of broccoli known by the scientific name Brassica oleracea ​var. italica in order to regulate the consumption of non-traditional food raw materials and ensure consumer safety.

It has limited the daily consumption of broccoli seed extract in foods to 115mg.

Also, products containing broccoli seed extract as raw materials should list out the populations in which the product is unsuitable for.

For instance, it should be labelled “this product is only for adults’ consumption, pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as individuals suffering from thyroid related issues should avoid consumption.”

In addition, it should state “individuals taking anticoagulant and cancer patients should consult healthcare professionals before using [the product]” ​or phrases with similar meaning.

The FDA also stated the guidelines for preparing the extract. Based on the requirements, the extract should come in powder between milky white to brown colour and contain between 13 and 20 per cent of glucoraphanin. Presence of heavy metal, such as arsenic should be less than 2ppm, less than 1.5ppm for lead, and less than 0.5ppm for cadmium and mercury.

Violators will face a penalty between NTD$30k (US$975) and NTD$3m (US$97.5k).

Clinical studies on glucoraphanin

Studies have been conducted on supplements containing glucoraphanin for its effects on supporting sleep, memory, and obesity.

A study conducted by Japan fruit juice firm Kagome found that consuming 10mg of glucoraphanin derived from broccoli sprout for two weeks could increase melatonin production and improve sleep quality.

Writing in the Journal of Functional Foods, ​the researchers explained that glucoraphanin, when converted into sulforaphane in the body, the latter’s antioxidising and anti-inflammatory effects could have contributed to a better circadian rhythm.

Another study published in Nutrients​ and was also conducted by Kagome, found that daily consumption of 30mg of glucoraphanin for 12 weeks could improve processing speed and working memory.

A 2017 study similarly conducted by Japanese researchers, claimed that glucoraphanin could prevent type II diabetes and obesity.

Aside from broccoli, glucoraphanin can be found in other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower.

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