Changes in the Respiration, Growth, and Vitamin C Content of Soybean Sprouts in Response to Chitosan of Different Molecular Weights

in HortScience
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  • 1 Division of Life Sciences, Soonchunhyang University, 646 Eupnae-ri, Shinchang-myeon, Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do 336-745, South Korea

To study the effects of chitosan on the productivity and nutritional quality of soybean (Glycine max L.) sprouts, soybean seeds were soaked in solutions containing 1,000 ppm chitosan of low (<10 kDa), medium (50 to 100 kDa), or high (>1,000 kDa) molecular weight, and the respiration, growth, and vitamin C content of the sprouts were subsequently evaluated. Sprouts treated with high molecular weight chitosan exhibited a significant increase in respiration, 5%, within 1 day of treatment. Chitosan effectively increased the growth of the sprouts: sprouts treated with high molecular weight chitosan showed increases of 3%, 1%, 3%, 1%, and 12% in the total length, hypocotyl length, root length, hypocotyl thickness, and fresh weight, respectively, as compared to a control. The growth-improving effects of chitosan were proportional to the molecular weight of the molecule used in the treatment. Chitosan treatment did not result in any significant reduction in vitamin C content or postharvest chlorophyll formation, traits that determine the nutritional and marketing values of soybean sprouts. All these results suggest that soaking soybean seeds in a solution of chitosan, especially of high molecular weight, may effectively enhance the productivity of soybean sprouts without adverse effects on the nutritional and postharvest characteristics.

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