Fruits and vegetables naturally contain antioxidants. Antioxidants than prevent / repair cell damaged and help avoid cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It act by neutralizing the free radicals. Also contain all the essential nutrients needed by our body.
Amount of nutrients and antioxidants may vary from plant to plant but the quantity can be manipulated using technology. We are aware that modern science can create genetically modified organisms that yield desired output, high yielding, pest resistance, drought tolerant and more nutrients.
Exposing carrot slices to UVB radiation increase the amount of antioxidant up to three times. Fourteen seconds is enough to accomplish the task. It means that UVB treated carrot can make you healthier than untreated.
Plant exposure to UVB cause abiotic stress which increase the production of two natural enzymes, the polyphenylalanine ammonialyase and chalcone synthase. This phenomenon also increases the amount of phenolic antioxidants.
Another example is boosting Vitamin D content of mushroom. This fungi is rich in ergosterol that can be converted to Vitamin D by exposing it to UVB. Mushroom grows in the dark and cannot convert the substance to vitamin so a technology intervention is needed.
Who need Vitamin D in mushroom? Human skin is capable of producing this vitamin. Ten to fifteen minutes daily exposure is enough to meet the body’s daily requirement. However, one might develop rickets if sunlight exposure is not enough or he lives in areas where sunshine is deficient. Vitamin D rich foods or supplement is needed for these cases.
Other possible effects of UVB treatment are unknown.
Studies were conducted by Tara H. McHugh of Agricultural Research Service.