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Brussels Sprouts trumped by parsnips as the windiest festive veg

Tesco expects to sell nearly 5.5 million Irish Brussels Sprouts in December

Sunday, 7th December 2014: Brussels Sprouts can divide households at Christmas, some people love them, some hate them and some can suffer some embarrassing windy side effects after eating them. Tesco expects to sell nearly 5.5 million individual Brussels Sprouts in the month of December alone, which amounts to a significant expulsion of gas. This breaks down as nearly 123 sprouts per minute for the month of December.

There can be a lot of hot air passing between relatives on Christmas Day and some people also have to deal with flatulence induced by festive indulgence. Sprouts can be hard to digest because they contain a complex sugar called raffinose, which is also found in beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and other brassica vegetables. Raffinose, is thought to contribute to the chemical reaction in the gut that produces flatulence in some people.  Some people are more susceptible than others and the extent to which these vegetables can affect an individual depends on the types of bacteria in their colon to break down foods for digestion.

To see how the Brussels sprout stacks up against other festive vegetables in the flatulence league, Tesco has totted up the amount of carbohydrates and fibre per 100g in some of the most popular Christmas vegetables.  Surprisingly the much-condemned Brussels Sprout came in second to  parsnips, followed by turnip in third palace, cabbage in fourth place and cauliflower bringing up the rear in fifth place.

A typical Christmas dinner vegetable, Brussels Sprouts are great steamed roasted or stir fried. A 100g serving gives 141% of your vitamin C needs and 110 micrograms of folic acid, which is essential for expectant mothers. However, care must be taken when cooking as overcooked sprouts, not only lose their nutritional value but they also emit an unpleasant sulphur smell caused by glucosinolate sinigrin, an organic compound containing sulphur that is released when they become too soft. To enable Brussels Sprouts to cook evenly, cut each sprout into quarters, let them sit for at least five minutes and then steam them for five minutes. 

Tesco Brussel Sprouts are sourced from farms in Navan, Macetown, Garrickstown and Oldtown with some growers supplying Tesco for 17 years. 500g packs of Irish Brussel Sprouts are available now for €1.19 in Tesco stores throughout Ireland. Brussels Sprouts are available all year round but their peak season is from Autumn until early spring. Best stored in a plastic bag, they can be refrigerated for up to 10 days or frozen for up to one year. Prior to freezing, steam them for between three to five minutes. 

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ENDS

For further press information please contact:

Amanda Farrell, Consumer PR Manager, Tesco Ireland