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Brix tests for nutrition density

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Brix tests for nutrition density - Page 2 Empty Re: Brix tests for nutrition density

Post  Roseinarosecity on 7/20/2019, 5:33 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:This afternoon, out of total curiosity, I decided to check the Brix value of the Curly Kale and Rainbow Chard that I harvested for dinner.  I had to use a garlic press to get enough juice out of a folded piece of the leaves, but the results were worth it (I need to find an easier way to compress leaves to juice, though, since cleaning the press between tests was a pain).  The Curly Kale showed a Brix score of 20, and the Rainbow Chard showed a Brix score of 8.

The International Ag Labs Brix chart shows the readings for Kale as: Poor 8; Average 10; Good 12; and Excellent 16.  So my test at 20 was in the high excellent category. Sounds very nutritious, in addition to testing great! Very Happy 

The International Ag Labs does not list a reading for Swiss Chard, but I found an article on the Ohio State University site that shows Chard readings as an average of 4.6, and a range of 2.6 to 6.5. My Rainbow Chard showed to be a little out of the range at 8, on the high side.

I am happy with these results, and think it reflects the health of the soil the plants are grown in.  The International Ag Labs says this about the Brix test:

"Within a given species of plant, the crop with the higher refractive index will have a higher sugar content, higher mineral content, higher protein content and a greater specific gravity or density. This adds up to a sweeter tasting, more minerally nutritious food with lower nitrate and water content, lower freezing point, and better storage attributes."

Ohio Gardener, this is very interesting.
How will this influence your choice of vegetables?  As you test, will you eliminate low testing vegetables?  Or will it influence when you harvest?

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Brix tests for nutrition density - Page 2 Empty Re: Brix tests for nutrition density

Post  OhioGardener on 7/20/2019, 7:19 pm

@Roseinarosecity wrote:Ohio Gardener, this is very interesting.
How will this influence your choice of vegetables?  As you test, will you eliminate low testing vegetables?  Or will it influence when you harvest?

It doesn't affect my selection of vegetables as much as it focuses on the mineral and nutrition level of the soil the vegetables are growing in. I grow only heirloom vegetables, and grow everything organically, so the vegetables are pretty much the same every year.

The short answer is that I believe the healthier the soil, and the higher the Brix reading, the higher the nutrition level of the plants.  And, that is why I'm concerned about the Brix readings.

The long answer is a little more detailed, if not interested in Brix testing is probably not worth reading from here forward.

According to the "experts", the higher the carbohydrate in the plant juice the higher the mineral content of the plant, the oil content of the plant, and the protein quality of the plant. And, drops with higher Brix will produce more alcohol from fermented sugars and be more resistant to insects, thus resulting in decreased insecticide usage If I accept those assumptions, I want the soil rich enough to produce the highest possible Brix reading.  And, experience has shown that if the Brix reading of the plant at lower on the plant is higher than the Brix reading at the top of the plant, then the phosphate level is inadequate, or the phosphate/potassium ratio is out of balance.  Another indicator is the clarity of the refractometer reading - if the refractometer display has a very sharp, well defined line, the soil is low in calcium, while a cloudy or diffused line indicates adequate calcium.

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