Ultrasonication-enhanced seed germination and microbial safety of sprouts produced from selected crop species


  • Kai Ying Chiu




microbial load, decontamination, germination, seed, sprout, ultrasonication


Seed sprouts are susceptible to microbial contamination; therefore, use of an effective sanitization treatment on these products is of great importance.  This study investigated the effects of ultrasonication, heating and chemical washing on sanitization of nine crop seeds and the microbial safety of sprouts produced from decontaminated seeds.  The result showed that most of seed sanitization treatments increased germination (except dry heating), decreased microbial loads on treated seeds and subsequently produced sprouts, and increased sprouts yield.  However, only ultrasonication seed treatment reduced both the total aerobic counts and total coliforms counts to < 3 log 10 CFU g-1 level on produced alfalfa, mung bean pea and radish sprouts.  The sprouts produced from ultrasonication-treated alfalfa, mung bean pea and radish seeds also out yielded their respective non-treated sprounts by 88, 25, 73 and 56%.  Therefore, ultrasonication can be used as a seed sanitization treatment for producing alfalfa, mung bean, pea and radish sprouts.