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Configuring pulsed electric fields to treat seeds: an innovative method of seed disinfection

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This study presents the design and testing of a bench-scale pulsed electric field (PEF) system to process different seeds to reduce the total number of mesophilic aerobic bacteria (TMAB) and fungi (TF). The PEF system was configured to treat seeds at 50 and 200 Hz frequency with 12 kV cm-1 electric fields strength. PEF treatment was effective in reducing TMAB and TF in the seeds with reduction ranging from 0.22 ± 0.06 log cfu mL-1 for cabbage to 2.81 ± 0.69 log cfu mL-1 for lettuce for TMAB and from 0.49 ± 0.10 log cfu mL-1 for garden rocket to 2.85 ± 0.8 log cfu mL-1 for wheat for TF. No significant difference was observed between the control and PEF groups of wheat seeds in terms of germination. It was concluded that the PEF treatment was a promising alternative to reduce initial TMAB and TF values of seeds without an adverse affect on seed germination.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2017

This article was made available online on February 7, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Configuring pulsed electric fields to treat seeds: an innovative method of seed disinfection".

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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