A green vegetable that translates to 'little sprouts' in Italian.

Alternative Name


Scientific Name

Brassica oleracea (Italica group)


Broccoli is a member of the brassica family and has a distinctive 'mustardy' taste. While the heads are normally eaten, the stalks and leaves are also edible (just be sure to adjust cooking times). Look out for broccolini and baby broccoli as alternatives.

Information for farmers+

Broccoli should have dark or bright green closed florets with a cleanly cut stalk. There should be no yellow florets nor discolouration on the stem bracts. Shelf life varies from 12 to >25 days depending on cultivar.

Postharvest storage temperature
A temperature of 0°C is required to optimise broccoli storage life (21–28 days). Heads stored at 5°C can have a storage life of 14 days. Temperature management during distribution is more critical than with iced broccoli. It will freeze if stored below -0.6°C. Frozen and thawed areas on the florets appear very dark and translucent, may discolour after thawing and are very susceptible to bacterial decay.

Controlled atmosphere storage
Modified atmosphere storage maintains the quality of broccoli after harvest. Most modified atmosphere packaging for broccoli is designed to maintain O2 at 3–10% and CO2 at about 7–10% to avoid the development of undesirable off-odor volatiles.

Ethylene sensitivity
Broccoli is extremely sensitive to ethylene exposure. Floret yellowing is the most common symptom. Exposure to 2ppm ethylene at 10°C reduces shelf life by 50%.

Humidity storage
Store at >95% relative humidity.

Disease & infection
Various soft-rot causing organisms may affect shelf-life. Rots due to these organisms are usually associated with physical injury. Although not as common, grey mould rot and black mould can infect heads; this may occur under rainy and cool growing conditions.

Preparation & Storage+
Remove florets from stalk before use. Keep in vegetable drawer of fridge.
A good source A good source –  1 serve provides 25% of RDI or 4g of fibre A source A source –  1 serve provides 10% of RDI or 2g of fibre
Nutrition information
Qty per serve % RDI per serve Qty per 100g
Energy 93 kJ 1% 124 kJ
Protein 3.3 g 7% 4.4 g
Fat, total 0.2 g 0% 0.3 g
– saturated 0 g 0% 0 g
Carbohydrate 0.3 g 0% 0.4 g
– sugars 0.3 g 0% 0.4 g
Dietary fibre, total 2.7 g 9% 3.6 g
Sodium 17 mg 1% 22 mg
Folate 37 µg 18% RDI 49 µg
Vitamin C 74 mg 186% RDI 99 mg
Vitamin K 77 µg 96% ESADDI 102 µg
Potassium 259 mg - 345 mg

Note: % RDI are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ. Your daily intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. RDI = Recommended Dietary Intake; ESADDI = Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake.


Veggy tip

Eat broccoli raw for the greatest nutritional benefit. Consider using the stem as well as the head—slice it up and cook with the florets.