Wanting to produce large and juicy fruits without losing their texture and maintain all their nutrients, PhD Eleazar Máximo Escamilla Silva developed a bioprocess for the production of phytohormones (plant hormones) that is 60 percent cheaper than the material used today.
The project was developed at the Technological Institute of Celaya (ITC) in Mexico, and consists in the production of various gibberellins, including gibberellic acid the most active known to date, a growth hormone that is added to the cultures.
This hormone helps fruit increase their size and antioxidant activity and become more resistant and juicy. For example, it gives refinements to apples, strawberries and citrus. It also has an application in the winemaking industry, floriculture, brewing and vegetables, among others.
The specialist explains that gibberellin is not toxic because it is a growth hormone already present in plants and in charge of promoting the progress of the fruit, hence the need for a production method and application for different crops that do not have optimal development features.
The innovation features the production of gibberellin crystals from the fermentation process of the Gibberella fujikuroi fungus that grows and develops within a culture, which secretes phytohormones in a liquid form.
Later the mold is removed and the liquid containing the gibberellin is separated to convert it into crystals, which are diluted in water and spread on the crops. The production process takes about 20 days.
The specialist in biotechnology says he currently seeks to regulate the pH conditions of gibberellin to obtain it in liquid form without having to convert it into crystals and avoid degradation by being in the water for more than seven days.
The new bioprocess shows great effectiveness in crops of strawberries, lemon and grape, where larger, colorful and stronger fruits are obtained, as well as more flowering. For example, in the beer brewing industry they have reduced to three days the process of preparing malt that without the gibberellin would take seven days. In addition the plant hormone increases the thickness and height of the sugarcane.
Escamilla Silva explains that the gibberellin used in Mexico is imported from China, England and the United States at a price of 70 dollars per gram, while the bioprocess of the ITC, currently under production, will have a cost of only 20 dollars per gram, which means savings of over 60 percent.
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