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20(1) 1992:85-92

Somefactorsaffectingthe productionand quality of beansprouts

(Beberapafaktor yang mempengaruhipenghasilandan mutu tauge)

S. Y. Lee* andC. S. Lee **

Key words:beansprout,production,quality

Tiga faktor yang mempengaruhi penghasilan dan mutu tauge telah dikaji. Faktor
tersebut ialah berat kacang, jumlah air dan kekerapanpenyiraman. Berat kacang
yang optimum untuk kotak kayu yang berukuran 40 cm x 25 cm x 28 cm
menghasilkan hipokotil yang paling gemuk. Keputusan daripada ujikaji
menunjukkan bahawa penyiraman air pada setiap 2.5 jam menghasilkan tauge
yang lebih banyak daripada penyiraman setiap 3.5 jam. Kedua-dua selang masa
penyiraman air telah menghasilkan nisbah tauge : kacang yang melebihi 5:1.
Walauprm selang masa 2.5 jam penyiraman air morghasilkan tauge yang lebih
gemuk dan panjang, nisbah panjang hipokotil : panjang akar adalah kurang
daripada l. Keperluan air sebanyak l0 liter bagi I kg kacang adalah mencukupi.
Analisis regressi secara berperingkat menunjukkan bahawa penghasil an
dipengaruhi dengan ketara oleh berat kacang dan kekerapanpenyiraman air bagi
keduadua ujikaji.

Three factors affecting quality and production of bean sprout were studied. The
factors studied were seed weight, water quantity and watering frequency. The
optimum seed weight of 3.25 kg for wooden boxes of 40 cm x 25 cm x 28 cm
produced the maximum hypocotyl thickness. Results showed that watering
frequency of 2.5 h interval gave significantly higher yield compared with 3.5 h
interval. Both watering frequenciesresulted in a sprout:beanratio greater than
5:1. Although significantly thicker and longer sprouts were obtained wi0r 2.5 h
watering, the hypocotyl length : root length ratio of the sprout was less 0ran l.
Ten litres of water per kilogram of seed was adequatefor the production of
sprout. Stepwise regression analysis showed that production was significantly
influenced by seed weight and water frequency for both experimens.

Introduction (Vignamungo).The lesspopularsproutis

Beansproutscan be producedall yearround from soybean(Glycinema.r).Sprouting
as its productiondoesnot requiresunshine techniquescan be simpleand cheap,not
or a mediumfor growth.The sprouting requiringcostlyinvestmenton equipment,
durationis relativelyshortrangingfrom 3 to and with goodreturns(Lee and Liew 1989).
6 days.The popularandwidelyconsumed lvlungbeancanbe sproutedin manyrypesof
sprou8 in Malaysiaare from mungbean containersrangingfrom stonejars, metal
(Vignaradiata L. Wilczek) andblackgram cans,woodenkegsto cementvats.
'Food TeclrnologyResearchCentrc,MARDI Ser&ng, P.O.Box 12301 50n 4 KualeLumpur,Mdayrie
'Techno-EconqnicandSocialStudiesDivision,MARDI Headquaners, P.O.Box l230l, fi774 Kude llmprr,
Authorc'full names:[,eeSiew Yoongand[:e ChongSoon
@Malaysian andDevelopment
AgriculturalResearch Institute1992

Production and quality of bean sprouts

Seedratewhich is the amountof seed boxes.In addition,the relativeimportanceof

per cubic volume,is an importantfactorin eachof the factorsin influencingthe sprout
sproutproduction.Low seedratewill weightwasalso investigated.
producethin and long sprouts,while a high
seedratewill leadto overcrowding, Materialsand methods
resultingin short,curvedsproutsand Two experiments wereconductedusing
ungerminated seeds.Seedratewill thus blackgramseeds.The frst experimentwas
determine,arnongotherfactors,the quality 3 x2 x2 factorial,testingttree seedrates
of sprous.Gmd quality sproutsare (3.2,3.6and4.0 kg) two waterquantity(10
charrcterizedby their thick hypocotyl with and 12 t/kg seed)and two watering
shortrmts. Althoughthereareno frequencies (2.5and3.5-hintenral).The
established standards, from the consumers' secondexperimentwasa 6 x 2 factorial
point of view, desirableor quality sprouts testingsix seedrates(3.6,4.0,4.8, 5.2,5.6
are thosewith shortrootsbut relativelylong, and 6.0 kg) and two wateringfrequencies
thick hypocotyls,with smalland unopened (2.5and 3.5-hinterval)with a frxedamount
light yellow leaves.Hypocotylthicknessis of water(10 Llkg seed).Eachexperiment
importantin providingcrispnesswhile roots wasrepeatedover two successive weeks
are unatlractive(Chenet al. 1987). with time servingas replicatesor blocksas
Wateris essentialfor growthin a in a randomisedcompleteblock design.
germinatingseed.In sproutproduction, For eachexperiment,blackgramseeds
wateralsoactsas a cmling andcleansing in a 50 kg bag,wereobtainedfrom a
agenLVariousmethodsare usedin groceryshop.In experimentl, four batches
cornmercialproductionof beansprouts, of 6.75 kg of dry seedswerewashed
rangingfrom manualwateringby hosesor separately in a 15 kg capacitybeanwasher
bucketsto the moresophisticated useof which usedthe forceof waterfrom a 5-cm
pumpswith automaticsprinklers.In manual diameterhose.Eachbatchof seedswasthen
watering,the beansproutsiue watered soakedin 17.0L of waterin a 40 L
frequently.It is, therefore,labourintensive polyethylene bin containerfor 6 h. The
and inconvenient(Lee 1983).Too frequent seedswerethentossed,uniformly mixed
wateringmay be wasteful while a long and weighedaccordingto the treatmentsi.e.
wateringintervalmay resultin poor quality 3.2,3.6,4.0kg (soaked weight).In
sprouts. experiment2, four batchesof 9.12 kg of dry
Waterquantityalsoplaysan important seedswere washedseparately.Eachbarch
role in determiningthe quality of sprous.It waslater soakedin 17.0L of waterfor 6 h.
is usuallyexpressed in termsof litresper The seedswerethentossed,uniformly
kilogramof seed.Tm little waterwill result mixedandweighedaccordingto the
in small sproutswith extensiveroot-hairs treatments i.e.3.6,4.0,4.8,5.2,5.6and6.0
and browningof sproutswhich resembles kg (soakedweight).
burnt effecs. On the otherhand,a higher The beansweregerminatedin wooden
rate will resultin unusuallylong sprouts boxeswith internalmeasurements of 40 cm
wi0r thin hypocotyls.A right balanceof long, 25 cm wide and 28 cm high. These
quantityand frequencyof wateringis thus boxeshavethreelongitudinalsloa of 10
65ential in the productionof quality bean mm wide at the basefor drainage.Before
sprouts. the soakedbeanswere placedin eachbox,
This paperreportsthe study conducted clearpolyethylenesheetwasplacedon all
!o evaluat€the effectsof seedweight, four intemalsidesand securedby thumb
wateringfrequencyand waterquantityon tacks.Freshbananaleaveswereplacedat
the productionand quality of beansprouts the botom from end to end with slis made
underlaboratoryconditionsusingwooden to aid drainage.

S. Y. Lee and C. S. l,ee

The 12 boxeswith soakedbeanswere indicationof the quality of sproutsproduced

arrangedin two rows, with the seedrate commercially.
randomlyassigned.The selectedtreatments
of waterquantityand frequencywere Statisticalanalysis
randomlyassignedto eachseedrate.The The standardmodel for a replicatedfactorial
waterusedwasfrom a 4 500 L storagetank experiment, was usedto analyseseparately
conveyedthrougha2.5-cmdiameterhose the resultsfor the two trials for the variables
with a flow rateof 18 Umin. A showerhead of interest,usingtlre Analysisof Variance
wasfixed at the end of the hose.A sop Procedure(SAS InstituteInc. 1985).In
watchwasusedduringwatering.Watering addition,the stepwiseregressionmodel
wasdonemanuallyat a fixed time everyday (DraperandSmith 1981)wasalso
for threedaysbeginningat 0800h on the attempted,with the beansproutproduction
frst day, for 0re two wateringfrequencies. as the dependentvariableand the seedrate,
The experimentswere terminated72 h wateringfrequencyand waterquality as
from the time tle beansweresoaked.The independent variables.The stepwise
top 3 cm layerof sprouts,whichwerethin, regressionmodelwould identify which of
long and greenwasdiscarded.The the factorsinfluencedthe beansprout
remainingsproutsin eachbox wereemptied productionin orderof importance.The
separatelyinto a tank of waterand washed, stepwiseregressionprocedureof SAS
while mostof the floatingseedcoatswere InstituteInc. (1985)wasused.
removed.The cleanedmarketablesprouts
werecollectedin a sieveand tossedfor 15 Bean sproutproduction
min befoneweighing.This is to ensurethat The analysesof variancefor sproutweight
the wateris completelydrained.The per box for the two factorial experimentsare
productionof thesesproutsper box under summarised inTable 1. For both
variousEeatmentsformedthe variableof experiments, the responses to two factors,
interestin comparingthe effectsof seed frequencyof wateringand seedrate were
weight"waterquantityand frequency.The significant(p < 0.01).The interaction of
weightof sproutsper box dividedby the dry frequencyand ratewasnot significant,
seedweightat ll%omoisturecontentfor the indicatingthat botr factorsacted
Eeatmentgenerates the sproul beanratio. independently. Therewasno significant
This ratio is a measureof the efficiencyof differencebetweenthe two quantitiesof
production. water.
Ten sproutsper box weretakenat The relationshipbetweensproutweight
randombeforewashingand the hypocotyl and seedratewaslineu (Figure/). This
length,hypocotylthicknessandroot lengttr indicatedthat the optimumcannotbe located
weremeasuredto determinetheeffecs of within therangeof the seedratestested.
the treatmenson the quality of sprouts. The sprout: beanratio was significantly
Samplesof beansproutswereobtained affectedby only the frequencyof watering
commerciallyfrom two wet and two dry but not the seedrateand waterquantity.A
marketsin Serdangand KualaLumpur.At sproucbeanratio of 5 or moreis considered
eachlocation,0.5 kg of beansproutswas desirablefor economicproduction.This was
purchasedeachtime for threesuccessive achievedin both experimentsusinga 2.5
weeks.From eachlocation,a sampleof 100 hourly wateringfrequency.Table2
beansproutsweretakenat random,and the summarises the effecs of seedrate,water
hypocotyllength,hypocotylthicknessand frequencyand quantityof wateringon
root lengthof eachsproutweremeasured. sproutweight,and sprout: beanratio in both
The averageof thesemeasurements gavean experiments.

Produeion and quality of bean sprouts

Table l. Analyses of variance for sprout weight (in kilogram per box) by experiment

Experiment I ExperimentII

Soruce of variation df Mean square df Mean square

Replication i 1.87' I
I 7t.76"'
Frequency I 5.70- I 8.52"
Rate 2 8.68- 5 25.10-'
Frequencyx rate 2 0.31ns. 5 0.28ns
Frequencyx quantity I
Ratex quantity 2 0.05ns
Frequencyx rate x quantity 2 0.42ns
Error u 0.38 ll 0.47
Coefficientof variation(7o) 5.33 4.60
significance at the 59o level
" significance at Ore lflolevel
sifrrificance at the 0.17o level
ns = not significant

Table 2. Effect ofthree production factors on mean sprout : weight and sprout:beanratio

Experiment1 Experiment
Factor Factor
Seed (kg) Sprout Sprour Seed(kg) Sprout Sprout:
wt. (kg) beanratio wt. (kg) beanratio
3.2 10.39 5.r9 3.6 l 1.58 5.19
3.6 tt.26 5.01 4.0 12.t2 4.85
4.0 t2.46 4.99 4.8 15.15 5.05
5.2 r5.88 4.88
5.6 r6.58 4.74
6.0 17.98 4.79
S.Eof mean 0.21 0.10 0.34 0.1I
LSD 57o 0.67 0.31 1.06 0.33
Watering frequency(h)
2.5 11.86 5.27 2.5 15.49 5.13
3.5 10.88 4.85 3.5 14.30 4.71
S.E.of mean 0.18 0.08 0.20 0.13
L,SD57o 0.54 0.25 0.61 0.19
Quurtity of water(L)
l0 I1.40 5.08
t2 I1.34 5.05
S.E.ofmean 0.18 0.08
IJD 57o 0.54 0.25

Quahty of sprouts producedcommercially,andlikely, the

Data on beansproutsfrom four markets(2 quality expectedby consumers. A derived
wet and2 dry) we given in Table3.T};.e ratio, the hypocotyl: root length,is
averagevaluesfor traits influencingthe approximately 3:1.
quality,namelyhypocotyllength,root Resultsfrom ttretwo experiments
lengthand hypocotylthicknesswould give showedthat wateringfrequencyof 2.5 h
an indicationof the quality of sprouts intervalgavesignificantlythickerand longer

S. Y. l,ee and C. S. [,ee

Sprout wt. (kg) Root length (mm)

20 60
! obcerved
-f Prcdicted



0 vffi

Hypocotyl length (mm) Hypocotyl thickness (mm)

35 3.0


o?ffi oLffi
3.6 4.0 4.4 4.8 5.2 5.6 6.0 3.6 4.0 4.4 4.8 5.2 5.6 6.0
Seedrateftg) Seed rate ftg)

The firted equaticrsfor the 4 relationships

Sproutweight= 1.847+ 2.681-rseed
Root length= 130.864- 3l.6Mz seed+ 2.651xseed
Hypocotyllength= 88.326- 22.43b seed+ 2.031r seed2
Hypocotylthickness= 0.871+ 1.29&rseed- 0.l2lx seed2

Figure L Relatioruhips between dependenl variables atrd seed rate in eryerirnent 2

Produaion and quality of bean sprouts

Table 3. Dala on quality of bean sprouts obtained from fow markets

Market HYPocotYl Hypocotyl Root Hypocotyl:

length thickness leng0r root length
(mm) (mm) (mm) ratio
Wet I 39.0 3.30 13.2 2.9s
2 40.8 3.2s 13.2 3.09
Dry I 40.1 3.1I 10.6 3.78
2 38.8 3.42 r4.3 2.71

Mean 39.7 3.27 12.8 3.10

Table 4. Effects of three production factors on mean hypocotyl length hypocotyl thickness,root length
and hypocotyl: root ratio

Hypocotyl Hypocoryl Root Hypocotyl:

Factor length thickness length root ratio
(mm) (mm) (mm)

Experiment I
3.2 39.7 2.29 63.3 0.63
3.6 36.7 2.50 57.8 0.63
4.0 35.2 2.53 54.7 0.65
S.E.of mean 0.7 0.06 1.4 0.02
LSD 59o 2.1 0.20 4.3 0.06
Watering frequency(h)
2.5 4t.37 2.53 &.1 0.65
3.5 33.05 2.35 53.2 0.62
S.E.of mean 0.55 0.05 l.l 0.02
lsD 5% r.72 0.16 3.5 0.05
Quantityof water(L)
l0 36.4 2.45 56.5 0.65
t2 38.4 2.M 60.8 0.63
S.E.of mean 0.55 0.05 t l 0.02
L^SD5% t.72 0.16 3.5 0,05
3.6 32.3 2.27 49.6 0.67
4.0 33.6 2.33 50.2 0:68
4.8 27.5 2.53 41.0 0.67
5.2 25.r 2.7r 35.8 0.71
5.6 26.r 2.55 37.5 0.70
6.0 27.6 2.5s 37.6 0.74
S.E.of mean 1.3 0.06 3.6 0.05
L-sD5% 4.1 0.19 I 1.3 0.15
Watering frequency(h)
2.5 30.23 ,({ 43.7 0.70
3.5 27.18 2.43 40.3 0.69
S.E.of mean 0.76 0.03 2.r 0.03
LSD 59o 2.38 0.11 6.5 0.09

S. Y. I-€e and C. S. Lee

hypocotylcomparedwith thosewateredwith p < 0.001).The equationis given as

3.5 h interval in both experiments. However, S = 4.9583+ 2.593'15*W - 0.975*F
in experiment1, the root lengthwas where, S = sproutweight (in kg)
significantly longer under the 2.5 h interval W = soakedseedweight (in kg)
(Table4) but wasnot significantin F = frequencyof watering(in hours)
experiment.2. Resultsshowedthat therewasa linear
The hypocotyl:root length ratio for the increase of 2.59 kg of sproutswith I kg
two experiments were less than one, increase in seedweightand a declinein
showingthat the sprouts produced under production of 0.975kg with one hour more
laboratoryconditionshad more root than the in water application.Waterquantitydid not
ediblehypocotyl portion. Thus, sprouts have a significanteffect on the production.
grown experimentallyshowed very marked In experiment two, the resultswere
differencein termsof the hypocotyl:root similar to experiment l, with seedweight
lengthratio. Somework has been done in and frequency of watering identifiedas the
MARDI usinga synthetic hormone to two important factors(with R'?= 0.62,
produceexceptionallythick sproutswith significantat (p < 0.001).The equationis
retardedroots,which gave rise to a high givenas
hypocotyl:root lengthratio similarto those
obtainedin themarketstudies(lre, S.Y. S = 5.4219+ 2.6813*W - 1.1917*F
1990,unpublished).More work needto be
donein this aspect,especiallyon the Conclusion
constituentsof the chemicalsin the synthetic Two factorswerefound to havea significant
hormonewith regardto the usageof food effect on the productionof beansprouts
productsin this case,sprouts. underlaboratoryconditions,namelyseed
In experiment2, wherethereweresix weightand wateringfrequency.The
levelsof the factorseedweight,the responseto seedweightwas linearfor both
responses !o seedweightfor hypocotyl experiments, with increasingproductionas
length,hypocotylthicknessandroot length the seedweightincreased. The watering
fitted significantlythe seconddegree frequencyof 2.5 hourly intervalswas also
polynomial. significantlybetterthan3.5 hourly intervals
From the fitted responses (shownin in both experiments. The quantityof water
Figure/) the maximumhypocotylthickness of l2L/kg seedwasnot significantlybetter
of 2.6 mm wasat 5.2 kg of seed(equivalent than l0 L/kg in sproutproduction.
to 3.25kg of dry beans).However,at that Sproutsgrown underlaboratory
seedweight,the hypocotyllengthwould be conditionsdid not meetthe quality standards
27 mm,with a root lengthof 38 mm, of thosesampledfrom the marketsin terms
generating a hypocotyl:root lengthratioof of largehypocotylthickness,hypocotyl
0.71. lengthand shortroots.However,seed
weightdid affect thesevariables.The
Relativeimportanceof thefactors responses to seedweightin thesevariables
influ encing sprout production fitted the seconddegreepolynomialwith a
The stepwiseregressiontechniquewas maximumhypocotylthickness of 2.6 mm
employedto identify the relativelymore achievedat 5.2k9 of seed(equivalentto
importantfactors.ln experimentone,factors 3.25kg of seedat lIVo moisture). With 5.2
identifiedto havesignificanteffecton sprout kg of seed,the sproutswould havean
productionwerethe seedweightper unit averagehypocotyllengthof 27 mm androot
volumefollowedby the frequencyof lengthof 38 mm.
watering(R-= 0.75,significantat Stepwiseregressiontechniquesusedfor

Produaion and quality of bean sprouts

influencesproutproductionratedseed automaticcontrolled chamber.J. Food

weightfrst, followedby watering Quality 10(4):219
Draper,N. R. and Smith, R. (1981). Applied
frequency. regression analysis2nd cd. New York: John
Wiley Series
Acknowledgements Lee, S. K. (1983). A simple autornaticsystemof
The authorswishedto thankMr Abdul watering for the small-scale production of
RahmanAbd Latif for his technical bean sprouts. Singapore J. Pri. Incl. hu. II
Lee, S. Y. and Liew K L. (1989). Bean sprout
production techniquein lpoh. Teknologi
References Makanan, MARDI 8:33-6
Chen S. L., Brience, W. M. and Schowalter,C. SAS Institute Inc. (1985). SA.SUsers Gui& :
(198?). Effects of growth regulatorson yield Statisticsversion 5. Carv North Carolina:
and quality of mungbeansprous grown in an SAS InsdruteInc,

Acccpledfor pblicotion on l5 Janwry 1992