03 October 2007

Hoe down, aroma's up

If I cared enough to grow my own herbs (read: if I didn't live in a damn desert and could grow my own herbs) I would definitely be heading to the health food store for some chitosan.

They [Dr. Hyun-Jin Kim and Professor Feng Chen] soaked basil seeds for 30 minutes in a chitosan solution, then soaked the roots again when they transferred the seedlings to larger pots. After 45 days, they compared the chemical composition of leaves from treated and untreated plants. They found that at the optimum chitosan concentration, the antioxidant activity in treated plants was greater by more than three times. The overall production of aroma compounds was up by nearly 50 percent, and the levels of clove-like and flowery components doubled.