Definition of isothiocyanate in US English:



  • A family of organic compounds found in tangy herbs such as horseradish, mustard, and onions. They have several patented applications including use as a pesticide, and their presence in the diet is thought to help prevent cancer in humans.

    • ‘The pungency of wasabi, horseradish, Brussels sprouts, and mustards comes from compounds called isothiocyanates.’
    • ‘Onions contain volatile chemicals of the isothiocyanate class.’
    • ‘Broccoli, cabbage and other members of the brassica family contain sulforaphane as well as indoles and isothiocyanates, which appear to fight various cancers.’
    • ‘Raw cabbage is rich in glucosinolate, which fermentation breaks down into isothiocyanates and other cancer-fighting compounds.’
    • ‘Much credit for mustard's biofumigant effect against soilborne pests is given to isothiocyanates, chemical byproducts of the plants' decomposition.’