In Japan, Bubble Technology Could Be The New “Fertilizer”
Researchers in Japan have discovered that injecting billions of microscopic bubbles into water used to irrigate organic tomatoes and strawberries results in an average 10%-20% increase in yields of larger, more robust fruit. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the food grown with bubble-injected water has the potential to grow better, juicer food crops as compared to those grown with tap water.
While the reasons for the bubble-induced growth spurt remain unclear to researchers at this time, scientists in Japan (where the initial experiments were conducted) think that microscopic bubbles could be the future of food security. Adding bubbles to water reportedly reduces water use to around one-hundredth of what would be required otherwise. “Fine bubbles are also thought to speed up the destruction of bacteria through the impact of their bursts, making them an energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly solution for cleaning and sterilization,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Bubble-injected water could also accelerate the metabolism within beneficial microorganisms in soil due to it’s enhanced oxygen-carrying capacity. This, in turn, encourages plant roots to grow and thrive.
While the potential health-risks of such a process are as-yet unknown, no negative side effects have been reported. As such, companies in Japan are also experimenting with bubble technology as a way to extend freshness in manufactured food products. (Marufuku Suisan, a seafood manufacturer, has experimented with adding ultra-fine nitrogen bubbles to seawater tanks in order to maintain freshness in fish for longer periods of time, for example.) Considering that other research concurrently suggests that the microscopic bubbles in marine environments may hold the key to complex ocean ecosystems, it’s likely that a land-based discovery on the benefits of microscopic bubble technology may be in the works. Stay tuned as we update this post in the forthcoming weeks!