About 60% of the total amount of radish for distribution is used for processing such as making pickles, grated radish, sashimi garnish, dried radish strips, oden etc. However, due to the component glucosinolate (4MTB-GSL) possessed by radish, smell and yellowing occurs at the time of storage and distribution of processed products, which is found to be a big problem among consumers. Therefore, we have been promoting the development of radish cultivars that do not contain 4MTB-GSL in order to eradicate the problem of smell and yellowing associated with processing of radish. The new radish cultivars are expected to facilitate various uses as processed food material which has not yet been utilized before. We are now promoting new food development research in collaboration with private enterprises.
Meanwhile, soil-borne disease such as the club root disease which affects Chinese cabbage and cabbage has become a serious problem in vegetable cultivation in Japan. In particular, only few varieties of cabbage are resistant to club root disease, so infected areas are totally dependent on pesticides. We use DNA markers for the selection of varieties with resistance to club root disease to facilitate the development of new cabbage cultivars with strong resistance.
Color development in the processed products prepared with common radish variety (left) and new variety which does not contain 4 MTB-GSL (right) in frozen preserved radish (a) and pickled radish (b).