An ozone micro-bubble technique for seed sterilization in alfalfa sprouts

Yurina Kwack, Kyoung Koo Kim, Hyunseung Hwang, Changhoo Chun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The efficacy of ozone micro-bubble water (OMBW) in reducing microbial populations on alfalfa seeds was investigated in this study. We observed the surface of alfalfa seeds using microscopy and found that many cracks and crevices existing on the surface could harbor pathogens. Alfalfa seeds were treated with tap water (TW), micro-bubble water (MBW), ozone water (OW), ozone micro-bubble water (OMBW), and chlorine water (CL) for 5 min, and total microbial population, E. coli and Salmonella spp. colonies were determined. Also, the sterilized seeds were germinated and cultivated for 5 d after sowing to investigate the percentage of germination and the growth of alfalfa sprouts. The treatments with OMBW and CL were most effective in reducing total microbial populations and E. coli was eliminated by OW, OMBW, and CL treatments. CL treatment reduced t he p ercentage of g ermination a nd f resh w eight of a lfalfa s prouts, but OMBW d id n ot c ause a ny n egativ e effects on the germination and growth of alfalfa sprouts. These results indicate that OMBW can be used as an effective sanitizer for eliminating seed-borne pathogens without detrimental effects on seed viability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-905
Number of pages5
JournalHorticultural Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014


  • Chlorine
  • Germination
  • Pathogen
  • Sanitizer


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