Speciation of Se in food crops: increasing the uptake of bioactive forms

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    How can we ameliorate the selenium content and speciation in vegetables? What is the effect of the fertilizer type, the soil properties and the choice of varieties or hybrids on the selenium uptake by leek? Where is selenium taken up in the plant, and what is the relation with other nutrients and trace elements? This study aims to contribute to the enrichment of bioactive Se-compounds in commercially available food crops in Flanders. Selenium is an element of fundamental importance to human health.

    Research approach
    In lab, greenhouse and field trials we consider the factors affecting the selenium uptake by leek and the effect of selenium fertigation on leek growth, quality and the content of bioactive Se-compounds. The factors assessed are: distribution within the leek plant, effects of soil properties and fertilizer type on selenium uptake, and differences between several hybrids and varieties. On 28 horticultural fields in Flanders with or without additional selenium fertigation, the selenium uptake in leek is measured. In two consecutive growing seasons we compare the selenium uptake in 27 varieties or hybrids.

    Along with a growing interest in production methods and their impact on the environment, interest in product quality and especially health improving properties of food crops is increasing. Selenium is an element of fundamental importance to human health. Several adverse effects have been linked to selenium deficiency in the human organism, and increasing selenium intake enables us to alleviate these symptoms.
    Effective start/end date1/01/0831/12/12