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KIST mass-produces obesity-targeted bok choy in smart farms

KIST mass-produces obesity-targeted bok choy in smart farms

Posted April. 12, 2021 07:41,   

Updated April. 12, 2021 07:41


A science team led by senior researcher Yoo Ji-hye of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology’s Smart Farm Research Center announced on Sunday that it successfully developed a new variety of bok choy containing 2.4 times more glucosinolate than that in the normal breed. Rich in glucosinolate – a substance that helps fight against obesity, this new type of bok choy is good for those with obesity.

The research team paid attention to bok choy while it carried out a study on northern Canadian natives with high risks of obesity and diabetes during a joint technological development project with Canada. Bok choy is richer in glucosinolate – a phytochemical which suppresses accumulation of fats in fat tissues and the liver - than other vegetables. However, bok choy with higher levels of glucosinolate inevitably leads to less production.

The research team tested bok choy in smart farms by adjusting a combination of factors in various mixtures such as exposure time of single- and multi-wavelength LED and moisture supply durations. The study found that the best way to grow bok choy is to give it 20 hours’ light rays and put it in the dark for four hours, showing a more than twice higher level of output. The new type of bok choy is 2.4 times higher in glucosinolate than one grown in typical cultivation conditions.

Canadian University of Manitoba intended to study whether the new variant of bok choy is effective in helping treat metabolic diseases among the local natives. The study results were posted on March 15 in an international academic journal “Food Chemistry.”