European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 219, Issue 2, pp 142–144 | Cite as

Enhanced selenium content in buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) and pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seeds by foliar fertilisation

  • Vekoslava Stibilj
  • Ivan KreftEmail author
  • Polona Smrkolj
  • Jože Osvald
Original Paper


The fruit and thin-husked seeds of the pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) and buckwheat grain (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench), both grown in Slovenia, were analysed for selenium (Se) content following foliar application of Se(VI) solution during the period of blooming. Samples were digested by a H2SO4-HNO3-H2O2-V2O5 mixture and Se determined, based on hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry. The whole procedure from weighing to measuring was carried out in the same Teflon vessel. The detection limit of the method was 0.14 ng g−1 solution. Buckwheat seeds from untreated plants contained 47 ng g−1 of Se and 394 ng g−1 from plants after foliar fertilisation with Se. Pumpkin seeds from untreated plants contained 108 ng g−1 of Se, and 381 ng g−1 of Se from Se-treated plants, all per lyophilised sample. Se content in lyophilised pumpkin fruit was 15 ng g−1 in untreated plants and 20 ng g−1 in Se-treated pumpkin plants. It is thus feasible to enhance Se content in buckwheat and pumpkin seeds by foliar fertilisation, making them a rich source of dietary Se and useful as a raw material for enriched food products.


Pumpkin seed Buckwheat Selenium Deficiency Foliar application 



This research was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of Slovenia, through the project V4–0385 “Development of methods for testing the quality of plant and animal products in accordance with internationally recognised methods for their official control”, project J4–6476–0481–04/4.03 and program P4–0085.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vekoslava Stibilj
    • 2
  • Ivan Kreft
    • 1
    Email author
  • Polona Smrkolj
    • 2
  • Jože Osvald
    • 1
  1. 1.Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesJ. Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia

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