The nutrient content of broccoli remains relatively the same as it has during more than a quarter century, despite hybridization that has occurred.
A team of three Agricultural Research Service scientists planted 14 different cultivars in two field trials in 2008 and 2009 and harvested the florets for testing, according to a news release.
They analyzed them for several minerals, including calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, sulfur, potassium and zinc.
Although different cultivars contained varying amounts of the minerals, there was no correlation between mineral content and release year.
"Our studies show that not much has changed in terms of mineral content in the last 35 years in a crop that has undergone significant improvement from a quality standpoint and that was not widely consumed in the United States before the 1960s," Mark Farnham, a geneticist and research leader at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., said in the release.
The data will serve as baseline information for broccoli breeders as they move forward.