Spain analyzes ozone's capacity to prevent broccoli diseases
Ozone, a compound with a high oxidizing capacity used as an antimicrobial agent, has aroused the interest of Murcian researchers to prevent fungal diseases in broccoli.
Supported by ERDF funds, IMIDA, the regional research institute for agro-food, is carrying out an essay to know the capacity of ozone to prevent diseases caused by fungi that reduce the final quality of broccoli crops.
Broccoli is one of the main crops of the Region of Murcia, with an acreage of 12,000 hectares and a production of 200,000 tons, production often reduced by the appearance of fungal diseases, mainly caused by Alternaria brassicae and Botrytis cinerea.
Ozone has long been used as an antimicrobial agent in, for example, water disinfection, and, within the food industry, in the removal of surface microorganisms in food.
In addition to that, the ozone application on crops could act a specific agent of stress, triggering the plant response to oxhidative stress, and thus provoking an accumulation of antioxidant compounds in its tissue.