In this study, the effects of supplementary UV radiation during the vegetative period on antioxidant compounds, antioxidant activity and postharvest quality of broccoli heads during long term storage was studied. The broccolis were grown under three different doses of supplementary UV radiation (2.2, 8.8 and 16.4 kJ/m(2)/day) in a soilless system in a glasshouse. Harvested broccoli heads were stored at 0 degrees C in modified atmosphere packaging for 60 days. The supplementary UV radiation (280-315 nm) during the vegetative period significantly decreased total carotenoid, the chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b content but increased the ascorbic acid, total phenolic and flavonoid contents of broccolis. All supplementary UV treatments slightly reduced the antioxidant activity of the broccolis, however, no remarkable change was observed between 2.2 and 8.8 kJ/m(2) radiation levels. The sinigrin and glucotropaeolin contents of the broccolis were substantially increased by UV treatments. The prolonged storage period resulted in decreased ascorbic acid, total phenolic and flavonoid contents, as well as antioxidant activity. Discoloration of the heads, due to decreased chlorophyll and carotenoid contents, was also observed with prolonged storage duration. Glucosinolates levels showed an increasing tendency till the 45th day of storage, and then their levels started to decline. The weight loss of broccoli heads during storage progressively increased with storage time in all treatments. Total soluble solids, solids content and titratable acidity decreased continuously during storage. Titratable acidity was not affected by UV radiation doses during the storage time whereas soluble solids and solids content (dry matter) were significantly affected by UV doses. Supplementary UV radiation increased the lightness (L*) and chroma (C*) values of the broccoli heads. Pre-harvest UV radiation during vegetative period seems to be a promising tool for increasing the beneficial health components of broccolis. (C) 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.