What is it about?

Natural mineral selenium (Se) is essential for human health, and insufficient dietary Se intake leads to reduce functions of immune and thyroid systems as well as cognitive development. One of the efficient strategies to counter malnutrition is agronomic biofortification to enhance the amounts of minerals in edible plant tissues. Enriching the micronutrients, selenium (Se) and lithium (Li), in grapes to improve their nutraceutical properties were implemented by foliar application of organic fertiliser rich in Se and Li onto five US Midwestern grape cultivars.

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Why is it important?

Agronomic biofortification was found greatly increased the Se and Li content in the whole grape by multiple times, meanwhile it did not significantly affect the vine vigour and fruit quality of grapes. However, the biofortification did impact the Ionome (including all the mineral nutrients and trace elements) and phenolic compounds in grapes and this varied among cultivars.


This study demonstrated foliar spray of organic Se/Li fertiliser was a very effective strategy to biofortify these micronutrients in grape berries, particularly in the skin, and therefore might be a promising strategy to increase the consumption and awareness of these US Midwestern grapes, therefore supporting local agricultural economies.

Dr. Hefei Zhao
University of California Davis

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Biofortification with selenium and lithium improves nutraceutical properties of major winery grapes in the Midwestern United States, International Journal of Food Science & Technology, September 2020, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/ijfs.14726.
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