US government-funded research has generated results meriting the grant of US patent 6177122 for "Cancer chemoprotective food products" to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. This is an improvement over the same school's 1998 patent 5725895 and 5968567 of 1999.

The Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms.

Abstract : Vegetable sources of cancer chemoprotective agents have been identified which are extraordinarily rich in glucosinolates, metabolic precursors of isothiocyanates. The vegetable sources are used to provide a dietary means of reducing the level of carcinogens in mammals.

First of 33 claims : A non-toxic solvent extract of a crucifer seed or cruciferous sprout, wherein said sprout is (A) harvested between the onset of germination up to and including the 2-leaf stage, and (B) not a Brassica oleracea capitata, Lepidium sativum, Sinapis alba, Sinapis nigra, or Raphanus sativus sprout.

By Navroz Havewala - just-food.com correspondent