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 Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells
22.02.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>