Asperge blanche

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Caloric intake
Produit cuit (à l'eau/bouilli)
seasonality of the product


  • Asparagus belongs to the Liliaceae family, Asparagus genus, of the officinalis species.
  • In France, it is mainly cultivated in the Val-de-Loire, the South-West, the South-East and in the Alsace region.
  • The asparagus known as “Argenteuil”, grown in the Île-de-France region, and the “sand asparagus” from the Landes region are the two best known varieties (French Ministry of Agriculture, 2020)


  • Asparagus is a underground or flowering bud, also called a shoot. In order to remain white, asparagus must not be exposed to light.
  • White asparagus is more fibrous than green asparagus because it grows less quickly (Chamber of Agriculture of the Bouches-du-Rhône, 2015).
  • The consumption of asparagus is traditionally accompanied by a specific odour in the urine, more or less marked depending on the individual and disappearing a few hours after consumption (Facius, 2019). This smell is due to the presence of an amino acid: asparagusic acid (Mitchell, 2014) which is transformed during digestion into methyl-mercaptan.
  • The molecules responsible for the bitterness of white asparagus are monodesmosidic saponins 5a/b for asparagus eaten raw and bidesmosides for cooked asparagus (Dawid, 2014).

COMPOSITION CHARACTERISTICS (excluding macronutrients, vitamins and minerals)

  • Asparagus has good levels of polyphenols, particularly those of the flavonoid family (Fan, 2015;  Symes, 2018Zhang, 2019). The active components differ according to the parts of the plant. The leaves are richest in flavonoids and saponins (Guo, 2019).
  • In addition, the fibres contained in asparagus (fructo-oligosaccharides and inulin) are considered to be soluble fibres. They have a prebiotic effect and are metabolised by the bacteria of the gut microbiota into short-chain fatty acids, the main source of energy for the epithelial cells of the gut (Sabater-Molina, 2009)

Finally, the skin of white asparagus contains polysaccharides of the pectic type that could potentially be used as immune response modulators (Wang, 2020).

  • Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail. Table de composition nutritionnelle des aliments Ciqual 2020. Consultée le 29/07/2020 depuis le site internet Ciqual
  • Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail. Table de composition nutritionnelle des aliments Ciqual pour le calcul des apports nutritionnels CALNUT 2020. Consultée le 14/09/2020 depuis le site internet Ciqual
  • Chambre d’agriculture des Bouches-du-Rhône. Culture de l’asperge blanche ou verte. Avril 2015. 20p
  • Dawid C, Hofmann T. Quantitation and bitter taste contribution of saponins in fresh and cooked white asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.). Food Chem. 2014; 145:427-36.
  • Facius A, Atkinson LA, Hanna K, Coombes MC, Lahu G, Wagner JA. What Can Be Learned From Crowdsourced Population Asparagus Urinary Odor Kinetics? CPT Pharmacometrics Syst Pharmacol. 2019 ; 8(6):407-414.
  • Fan R, Yuan F, Wang N, Gao Y, Huang Y. Extraction and analysis of antioxidant compounds from the residues of Asparagus officinalis L. J Food Sci Technol. 2015; 52(5):2690-700.
  • Guo Q, Wang N, Liu H, Li Z, Lu L, Wang C. The bioactive compounds and biological functions of Asparagus officinalis L. – A review. Journal of Functional Foods. 2019. In Press.
  • Ministère de l’agriculture. Les asperges, un légume tendre du printemps [en ligne]. [Consulté le 13/02/2020] disponible à l’adresse
  • Mitchell SC, Waring RH. Asparagusic acid. Phytochemistry. 2014; 97:5-10.
  • Neveu V, Perez-Jiménez J, Vos F, Crespy V, du Chaffaut L, Mennen L, Knox C, Eisner R, Cruz J, Wishart D, Scalbert A. (2010) Phenol-Explorer: an online comprehensive database on polyphenol contents in foods. Database, doi: 10.1093/database/bap024. Full text (free access)
  • Règlement (CE) N° 1924/2006 du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 20 décembre 2006 concernant les allégations nutritionnelles et de santé portant sur les denrées alimentaires.
  • Règlement (UE) N°432/2012 de la Commission du 16 mai 2012 établissant une liste des allégations de santé autorisées portant sur les denrées alimentaires, autres que celles faisant référence à la réduction du risque de maladie ainsi qu’au développement et à la santé infantiles.
  • Règlement (UE) n°1169/2011 du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 25 octobre 2011 concernant l’information des consommateurs sur les denrées alimentaires, modifiant les règlements (CE) n°1924/2006 et (CE) n°1925/2006 du Parlement européen et de Conseil et abrogeant la directive 87/250/CEE de la Commission, la directive 90/496/CEE du Conseil, la directive 1999/10/CE de la Commission, la directive 200/13/CE du Parlement européen et du Conseil, les directives 2002/67/CE et 2008/5/CE de la Commission et le règlement (CE) n°608/2004 de la Commission.
  • Sabater-Molina M, Larqué E, Torrella F, Zamora S. Dietary fructooligosaccharides and potential benefits on health. J Physiol Biochem. 2009; 65(3):315-28.
  • Symes A, Shavandi A, Zhang H, Mohamed Ahmed IA, Al-Juhaimi FY, Bekhit AEA. Antioxidant Activities and Caffeic Acid Content in New Zealand Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) Roots Extracts. Antioxidants (Basel). 2018; 7(4).
  • Wang N, Zhang X, Wang S, Guo Q, Li Z, Liu H, Wang C. Structural characterisation and immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharides from white asparagus skin. Carbohydr Polym. 2020; 227:115314.
  • Zhang H, Birch J, Pei J, Mohamed Ahmed IA, Yang H, Dias G, Abd El-Aty AM, Bekhit AE. Identification of Six Phytochemical Compounds from Asparagus officinalis L. Root Cultivars from New Zealand and China Using UAE-SPE-UPLC-MS/MS: Effects of Extracts on H₂O₂-Induced Oxidative Stress. Nutrients. 2019; 11(1).
Composition and analysis