Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural ResearchService (ARS) have investigated a variety of broccoli to discover if theyinduce activity of a key detoxification enzyme in mammals that may protectagainst certain cancers. Scientists at the ARS and the BrassicaChemoprotection Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University?s School of Medicine(Baltimore, MD) looked at a variety of broccoli to evaluate their levels of achemoprotective compound called glucoraphanin. A derivative of glucoraphaninspurs mammals to induce activity of detoxification enzymes. The scientistsfound a 30-fold variation in glucoraphanin and the activity of these enzymesamong the broccoli tested. If genetic variation among brassica varieties doesindeed exist, the future might hold new varieties with greater levels of thechemoprotective compounds.