ID: 2259

  • Title:
    Case Study: Effect of Pulsed Electric Fields in the Germination Rate of White Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and possible applications on Microgreens Production

    Aguiar-Macedo, Mafalda - EnergyPulse Systems, EPS, Lisbon, Portugal
    Redondo, Luís Manuel - Pulsed Power Advanced Applications Group, Lisbon School of Engineering, GIAAPP/ISEL, Lisbon, Portugal
    Teotónio Pereira, Marcos - EnergyPulse Systems, EPS, Lisbon, Portugal

    According to the United Nations (UN), continuous growth of world population is expected until 2100, when it is expected to reach 10.4 billions. FAO estimates an increase up to 670 million people that will be undernourished in 2030, representing 8% of the world population. Given the current circumstances, although progress has been made, achieving Zero Hunger goal proposed by the United Nations' Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seems to be increasingly challenging (FAO, 2022). There is a growing urgency among scientists and governments to tackle contemporary challenges regarding food insecurity, losses and waste, and escalating food requirements, while promoting sustainable agriculture practices. It is important to notice that Agri-food industry not only serves as a vital provider of nourishment, but also plays a pivotal role in contributing to the socio-economic stability of most countries. Thus, a combination of heritage farming practices and innovative technologies and strategies may be crucial to surpass these challenges. The application of Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF) has been under spotlight on the agribusiness due to its ability to induce electroporation phenomena on the phospholipidic membranes of cells from several food matrixes, mainly on the optimization of mass transfer and microbial inactivation, being focused on transformation and conservation of food products. Recently, studies demonstrated its ability to stimulate the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in plants and influence seed germination. The purpose of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of how PEF can potentially impact the germination rate and growth rate of plants, and to determine its potential application on the production of microgreens. Preliminary assays were performed resorting to white beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seeds, which were subjected to 2 distinct PEF treatments (PEF1: 2kV/cm, 0.1kJ/Kg; PEF2: 2kV/cm, 0.0kJ/Kg) before sowing, being their development followed over 6 days. Three days after, germination rate and development of the root system were assessed and measured, showing an increase in germination rate from 40% in control, to up to 64% (PEF2). 6 days after PEF application, no differences amongst germination rates were determined; however, seedlings pre-treated with PEF presented an increase of growth up to 35% more and a 71% higher root-to-shoot length ratio.

    Seed Germination, Pulsed Electric Fields, Agri-Food


    Topic 1:
    11. Agricultural crops and farming

    Topic 2:
    10. Food safety and food preservation

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