Organic, and Tastier

Organic, and Tastier http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/03/dining/03curi.html
. . . Plants sense and respond to any kind of attack by means of chemical signals. Cells in the attacked area first detect telltale molecules from the invader. Then they respond by releasing warning molecules that trigger the rest of the plant and even neighboring plants to start producing chemical defenses. Biologists discovered many years ago that they could induce the plants defensive response without any live insect or fungus. All they had to do was supply the initial chemical signals the invader molecules or the plants warning chemicals.
At Clemson University, Dr. Hyun-Jin Kim and Professor Feng Chen recently exploited this fact to intensify the flavor of basil plants. They induced a defensive response in the plants by exposing them to a material derived from chitin, a long chainlike molecule that funguses use to reinforce their cell walls. Insects and crustaceans also build their hard exoskeletons out of chitin. The chitin from crab and shrimp waste is processed industrially to make a shortened form called chitosan, and this is what the Clemson food scientists used.
They 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.
Chitosan is readily available as a dietary supplement that supposedly encourages weight loss. When I asked Professor Chen by e-mail if chitosan capsules from the health food store dissolved in water would work as well as his lab-grade chemical, he replied, I would guess they will have the same or similar effect. He added, I would like to encourage master gardeners to try them for fresh aromas. . . . -----
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf0480804
. . . The total amount of the phenolic and terpenic compounds increased after the chitosan treatment. Especially, the amounts of rosmarinic acid (RA) and eugenol increased 2.5 times and 2 times, respectively, by 0.1% and 0.5% chitosan treatment. . . .
. . . Moreover, after the elicitor chitosan treatment, the growth in terms of the weight and height of the sweet basil significantly increased about 17% and 12%, respectively. Our study demonstrates that an elicitor such as chitosan can effectively induce phytochemicals in plants, which might be another alternative and effective means instead of genetic modification. -----
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chitosan -----
http://www.yeacrops.com/Elicitor%20-%20Ethylene%20Reduction.pdf -----
http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Chitosan-9927494 -----
Has anybody heard of this before? I'm scratching my head, wondering why I've never heard of it.
Some how, it seems like cheating. Morality aside, I'm pondering if I could just pour some chitosan solution "into my potted basil". Think I'll high-tail it on out of here to my local health food store before it's to late in the season. Our first pesto dinner of the year is already on the menu for Saturday. I'm running out of time (again).
--
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In article

Just another data point. When I was trying to introduce whole food to my kids 30 years ago I got lots of resistance. Responding to the ideas in the URL.
So I got some sprouted whole grain bread. Essene bread no longer available (?) and some wonder bread from the same folks that recycled paperback books as fiber in bread. I kid you not. Anyway having a few cats about I placed both breads on the floor and waited for the cats to decide. My kids got the message and I got to spend more on stables. Tis worth it.
Bill whose basil is strong but chitosan sounds like a neat experiment. Weird science.
--

Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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Bill who putters wrote:

So you are a rider then? I would have thought horses would be better judges of bread than cats, why not use them?
David
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http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/1984-01-01/Essene-Bread-Sprouted -Grain.aspx
the chitosan :O(
Tomorrow is an other day:O)
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You might try looking at your local home brew supply (or winemaking) store. Chitosan is a common fining agent and inexpensive. I use it to clear almost all my red wines. Steve
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Thanks for the tip Steve.
Chitosan as a fining agent? I've never heard of it before. You can imagine my chagrin. Wikipedia says that it is used in combination with other fining agents, isinglass or silica gel (bentonite and gelatin pull color)? Why not egg whites, or are you allergic to them?
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I've always used chitosan. It works great so I never had a reason to try anything else. Steve

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You might consider egg whites at one/thirty gallons of wine. Put with a little water (1 cup) and salt in a blender, or use a hand whisk. Don't whip it too much. You're not trying to make meringue (which would denature the albumin, and screw up the fining), just enough to homogenize your mixture. Stir slowly into your wine with a racking cane, if you have one. The nice thing about egg whites is that they pull bitterness out of the wine, without pulling tannins that are important in structure, or color.
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