Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fraunhofer FEP Process disinfects Seeds effectively and efficiently

15.06.2011
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP in Dresden have developed a process for effectively and efficiently freeing seeds of pathogens such as bacteria and fungi.

Pathogenic EHEC bacteria have recently caused widespread illness in Germany and Europe and this has created huge uncertainty for consumers. The latest reports point the finger at the seeds of bean shoots as possibly being the source of the EHEC bacteria contamination.


A germ-free seed product from the Fraunhofer FEP sterilization process
© Fraunhofer FEP

Regardless of what source is eventually found, recent weeks have brought home the severe consequences of contaminated food and highlighted the importance of effective treatment of seeds and efficient sterilization of foods.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP in Dresden has for some years had a proven technology for effectively rendering pathogens such as bacteria and fungi on seeds harmless.

The process utilizes low-energy electrons to kill germs. The special configuration of the equipment means that the seeds are separated and that the electrons can bombard the seeds from all sides. The electrons only act on and in the seed coat, and the ability of the seeds to germinate and the DNA of the seeds are not adversely affected. A special quality monitoring system safeguards and manages the quality of the seed treatment, ensuring the maximum effect for optimum plant tolerance. As the treatment involves solely a physical process, the harmful organisms cannot develop resistance as can occur when antibiotics are used. In addition, there is no use of chemicals and so the environment and the health of users are not impacted.

In Germany the effectiveness of electron treatment on many types of cereal seeds and against various pathogens (including pseudomonas bacteria) has been demonstrated. Many years of collaborative work with the Julius-Kühn-Institute have confi rmed that the electron treatment of seeds is suitable for different cultivation conditions. Besides the Julius-Kühn-Institute, the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) also recommends the seed sterilization process using electrons for both conventional and organic agriculture. A mobile system for seed treatment using electrons is already available. This has an hourly seed throughput of up to 30 metric tons. Up until now some 4000 to 5000 metric tons of seed per year have been processed in Germany using this technology and subsequently cultivated in conventional and organic agriculture. This has predominantly concerned cereal seeds (wheat, barley, oats), and also seeds from rape, leguminous plants, and vegetables. Frank-Holm Rögner, head of the Electron Beam Processes business unit at the Fraunhofer FEP, stresses: “The electron treatment of seeds is an advanced technology and is already available in Saxony. Expansion of the technology to the sterilization of foods is certainly feasible from a technological point of view.” The treatment of foods with accelerated electrons is currently not permitted in Germany. An ongoing study by the EU has, however, shown that accelerated electrons have no adverse effects on the properties of foods compared to foods sterilized using conventional methods.

Scientific contact:
Frank-Holm Rögner
Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP
Phone +49 351 2586-242
frank-holm.roegner@fep.fraunhofer.de
Press contact:
Annett Arnold
Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP
Phone +49 351 2586-452
annett.arnold@fep.fraunhofer.de

Annett Arnold | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.fep.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
16.01.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
16.01.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>