Cichorium intybus L. - Asteraceae - chicory, witloof (dutch), succory, (Gemeine) Wegwarte, Zichorie

Erect perennial herb, up to 1m tall, native to Europe and Asia, naturalized worldwide, cultivated mainly in Europe; basal leaves rosulate, obovate to oblanceolate, stem leaves similar, less divided, gradually reduced toward stem apex; flower heads 2-4cm wide, bright blue, exceptionally white or pinkish white.

„Chicory may be cultivated for its leaves, usually eaten raw as salad leaves. Cultivated chicory is generally divided into three types, of which there are many varieties, … Radicchio…, Sugarloaf…, Belgian endive (dutch: witloof)… Root chicory (Cichorium intybus var. sativum) has been cultivated in Europe as a coffee substitute. The roots are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive…“

chicory leaves/roots bitterness

„Samples of red-coloured lettuce and chicory were assessed for bitterness by sensory analysis and compared with conventional green-coloured varieties. The amounts of the sesquiterpene lactones lactucin, 8-deoxylactucin and lactucopicrin and their glycosides were determined using enzyme hydrolysis and high performance liquid chromatography. The level of each of these compounds was compared with the bitterness score found for each sample, and the resulting correlation data suggested that the increasing level of one of these compounds, lactucin glycoside, was closely related to the increase in bitterness.“
[Relationship between the chemical and sensory properties of exotic salad crops—coloured lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and chicory (Cichorium intybus)., Price, K.R., Dupont, M.S., Shepherd, R., Chan, H.W.S., Fenwick, G.R., Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 53(2), 1990, 185-192]


„Five known and one new sesquiterpene lactones were isolated from fresh chicory roots (Cichorium intybus). The new compound 11(S),13-dihydrolactucopicrin was identified by UV, 1H NMR, 13C NMR, and mass spectroscopy. The extraction procedure and HPLC analysis of sesquiterpene lactones in chicory were improved. The bitterness detection thresholds of all compounds were individually determined by triangle testing. 11(S),13-Dihydrolactucopicrin was extremely bitter, with a treshold level of 0.02ppm. Four other lactones showed treshold values similar to that of quinine hydrochloride.“
[Bitter sesquiterpene lactones from chicory roots., Van Beek, T.A., Maas, P., King, B.M., Leclercq, E., Voragen, A.G., De Groot, A., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 38(4), 1990, 1035-1038]

„The leaves and especially the roots of chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) contain high concentrations of bitter sesquiterpene lactones such as the guianolides lactupicrin, lactucin, and 8-deoxylactucin. Eudesmanolides and germacranolides are present in smaller amounts. Their postulated biosynthesis through the mevalonate-farnesyl diphosphate-germacradiene pathway has now been confirmed by the isolation of a (+)-germacrene A synthase from chicory roots.“
[(+)-Germacrene A Biosynthesis The Committed Step in the Biosynthesis of Bitter Sesquiterpene Lactones in Chicory., de Kraker, J.W., Franssen, M.C., de Groot, A., König, W.A., Bouwmeester, H.J., Plant Physiology, Vol.117(4), 1998, 1381-1392]

The major sesquiterpene lactone derivatives of the watery exudate recovered from chicory were lactucopicrin 15-oxalate, lactucin 15-oxalate and 8-deoxylactucin 15-oxalate.
[Metabolite Profiling of Sesquiterpene Lactones from Lactuca Species - Major latex components are novel oxalate and sulfate conjugates of lactucin and its derivatives., Sessa, R.A., Bennett, M.H., Lewis, M.J., Mansfield, J.W., Beale, M.H., Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol.275(35), 2000, 26877-26884]

„The dried, whole herb is used mainly as a digestive tonic for loss of appetite and dsypepsia. It is a traditional choleretic, cholagogue, carminative, diuretic and 'blood purifier'… The bitterness of chicory is due to the presence of sesquiterpene lactones, of which lactucin and lactupikrin are the major compounds… The root contains high levels of inulin (50-60%) as a storage compound.“
[Medicinal Plants of the World. Ben-Erik Van Wyk and Michael Wink, Pretoria 2004, 100]

„Crude protein (CP) content in chicory [aerial parts] is more valuable than in alfalfa… at rosette of foliage leave growth stage of the chicory cultivars, they has contains higher crude protein than alfalfa, e.g. cv. Puna at 24.77%, cv. Yifen at 22.90% and cv. Qikeli at 22.87%; Whereas the average CP of whole growth stage of Puna chicory at 20.33% higher than the average CP of 10 alfalfa varieties at 17.85% of the shoots and leaves in bloom stage. The protein in chicory is in high quality… As inulin is the highest component of chicory [roots], about 70% of dried matter, chicory is valuable raw material for industrialized producing inulin, fructooligosaccharide and high fructose syrup for foodstuff manufacture“
[Perspectives and utilization technologies of chicory (Cichorium intybus L.): A review., Wang, Quanzhen, Cui, Jian, African Journal of Biotechnology Vol.10 (11), 2011, 1966-1977]

Levels of sesquiterpene lactones (SL) in fresh-cut chicory (Witloof Chicory, C.intybus var.foliosum) are reduced by washing. Applied warm water significantly reduced the contents and bitterness. „SL profiles changed substantially in all samples during storage, revealing lactucopicrin to be the major SL directly after processing, whereas 11(S),13-dihydrolactucin prevailed at the end of storage.“
[Sesquiterpene lactone content and overall quality of fresh-cut witloof chicory (Cichorium intybus L. var. foliosum Hegi) as affected by different washing procedures., Wulfkuehler, S., Gras, C., Carle, R., Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, Vol.61(32), 2013, 7705-7714]

roasted chicory root volatiles

„…the following compounds were identified as major components in the roasted root: vanillin, S-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural, 2-acetylpyrrole, furfural, phenylacetic acid, 2-(S-hydroxymethyl-2-formylpyrrol-I-yl)-3-methylpentanoic acid lactone and phenylacetaldehyde.“ Minor components were cyclotene, benzothiazole, and coumarin e.g.
[Sannai, Akiyoshi, Takane Fujimori, and K. A. T. O. Kunio. „Studies on flavor components of roasted chicory root.“ Agricultural and Biological Chemistry 46.2 (1982): 429-433]

„Volatiles were isolated from roasted chicory by simultaneous steam distillation-solvent extraction (SDE) and dynamic headspace sampling (DHS). Many volatile components were identified in SDE (92) and DHS (64) extracts. Many pyrazines and N-furfurylpyrroles (N-furfurylpyrrole, N-furfuryl-2-formylpyrrole, and N-furfuryl-2-acetylpyrrole) were identified for the first time in roasted chicory. Aroma extract dilution analysis showed that those extracts from SDE and DHS were similar with respect to predominant aroma-active components. 2-Ethyl-3,5-dimethylpyrazine, 2,3-butanedione, 1-octen-3-one, 3-methylbutanal, and one unknown compound with a chicory- and burnt sugar-like note were the most intense aroma-active components found in roasted chicory.“
[Roasted chicory aroma evaluation by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry/olfactometry., Baek, H.H., Cadwallader, K.R., Journal of food science, Vol.63(2), 1998, 234-237]

Dietrich, A.G., Flora regni borussici, vol. 8: t. 559 (1840) [A.G. Dietrich]

Cichorium intybus
© Rolf Marschner (2007),

cichorium_intybus_l.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2020/12/20 18:17 von andreas