Microgreens are sprouts from the seeds of broccoli, radish, mustard, peas, kale, cress, raspberry, soy and other sorts of vegetables and pulses. The seedlings usually contain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in higher concentrations than the adult specimens. Scientists from the University of Maryland (USA) have shown 4 to 40 times higher levels of bioactive micronutrients in the sprouts (1).
Their analyzes of the nutrient content of 25 types of microgreens showed, among other things, a surprisingly high content of vitamins E, C, K and beta-carotene. The seedlings of red cabbage, green daikon radish, coriander and garnet amaranth proved to be particularly nutrient-rich.
Microgreens are relatively easy to handle. All they need to grow is light, heat and water and a bowl of soil. After just a few days of breeding, the first leaves can be harvested and added to salads, soups, sauces, dressings, etc.
A still unresolved problem is the higher pollutant load of the seedlings in comparison to fully grown vegetables. Since they have little time to grow, harmful residues including pesticides cannot be sufficiently neutralized by the plant in this early stage of development. Experts therefore recommend using only untreated seeds for breeding.
Z. Xiao et al. Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens. Agric. Food Chem., 2012, 60 (31), pp 7644–7651. Available via https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/jf300459b