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  • Author or Editor: Sara Arscott x
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Foods that can aid in prevention of disease are of increasing interest. Some vegetables experimentally enriched with selenium (Se) accumulate selenium as Se-methylselenocysteine (MeSeCys), a non-protein amino acid implicated with superior chemopreventive properties. The effects of increasing concentrations of Se on the gain in biomass (GIB) and total Se concentration of broccoli (Brassica oleracea), mung bean (Vigna radiata), and onion (Allium cepa ‘Red creole’) sprouts were evaluated against sulfur (S) as control. Trial 1 included treatments of selenate-Se and sulfate-S at levels of 127 μmol·L−1 and 1270 μmol·L−1. Trial 2 used additional treatments of 635 μmol·L−1 for broccoli and mung beans and 12,700 μmol·L−1 for onion. Sprouts were harvested at 3 and 5 days for broccoli and mung bean and at 5 and 7 days for onion. Broccoli was the most sensitive to Se, showing ≈45% GIB reduction at 635 μM Se. Mung bean GIB was 23% lower at 1,270 μM Se and onion GIB showed a small 16% reduction at 12,700 μM Se, suggesting high Se tolerance. These data clearly demonstrated species variation in tolerance to and uptake of Se during sprout production. The lowest treatment level, 127 μM selenate-Se, resulted in Se concentrations that exceeded the level desirable for fresh sprout consumption, suggesting that Se-biofortified sprout production for fresh consumption could be easily accomplished with little effect on growth rate or yield. Chemical name used: selenate (SeO4 2–) sulfate (SO4 2–).

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