How microgreens went from trendy vegetables to functional food

Published October 8, 2021, 12:00 PM

by Patricia Bianca Taculao

Decades ago, microgreens caught the attention of consumers and were considered fashionable and valuable. Today, microgreens are known for their nutritional profile and high content of antioxidant compounds. 

A new study even suggests that these tiny plants have the potential to aid global nutrition security. Through a project titled “Food Resilience in the Face of Catastrophic Global Events, an international team of researchers found that microgreens can be grown in a variety of soilless production systems in small spaces indoors, with or without artificial lighting. 

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

These findings are found to be especially relevant because the global pandemic disrupted food supply chains. 

With microgreens, people can produce fresh and nutritious vegetables even in areas that aren’t ideal to grow food in. Plus, the nutritional profile of microgreens is associated with the rich variety of colors, shapes, textures, and flavors that come from growing other vegetables. 

The researchers also noted that microgreens have a short growth cycle and require minimal fertilizer inputs while providing essential nutrients and antioxidants to consumers.

Simple agronomic techniques are all it takes to produce microgreens that could address specific dietary needs, micronutrient deficiencies, nutrition-security issues during emergencies, or challenging environmental conditions.

Microgreens may be small but they pack the power to address various global issues revolving around food, nutrition, and food security. 

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