Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania
Loreta Serniene was involved in different scientific projects in her carrier such as COST activity feed for health, investigating the effect of liquid whey on productivity and udder health parameters of dairy cows; EU funded projects milk production and processing at small dairy farms and the use of novel enzymes in the production of traditional and innovative dairy products at SMS dairy enterprises, developing and updating traditional dairy technologies and implementing new ones at small scale level which also involved dissemination of findings across the territory of Lithuania. At the moment she is leading a national project screening of new L. lactis bacteria producing bacteriocins and investigation of their applicability for food preservation, funded by the Research Council of Lithuania. She is one of international technical experts in EUREKA programme and by now has supervised more than 40 graduate students.
Interest in sprouts as a super food is growing rapidly due to their palatability and nutritional properties. The potential microbiological risks however, are challenging producers in finding innovative ways to ensure product’s safety while keeping quality high. One of the ways to achieve this is to employ ionized water in sprout production process. To determine the influence of ionized water on germination, sprouting vigour and safety of sprouts, common (bread) wheat (Triticum aestivum) seeds were chosen to soak and sprout for three days in the highest concentrations (in the safe range for human consumption) of ionized alkaline water (pH 9), acid (pH 3.8) and silvered (pH 9 + 0.011 / 0.51 mg / l silver ions). Ionized alkaline water, compared with control (tap water), increased sprouting vigour of wheat in 13.25% while the general germination improved in 57%. Ionized acidic (pH 3.8) water, compared to control (tap, distilled water) and other experimental samples (ionized alkaline, silvered water, hydrogen peroxide (8%)) effectively reduced microbial contamination of seeds: coliform bacteria was inhibited through 2.08 logarithmic units (lu) and the total bacterial count (TBC) decreased over 0.71 lu. Silvered water improved sprouting vigor in 12.5% and reduced microbial contamination, but had no statistically significant effect on improving their ability to germinate. Ionized alkaline water can be beneficial for germination, growth and irrigation of seeds, as well as ionized acidic water can play a role of an effective and safe disinfectant in sprouts production.