Bioguide #10

Impact of Biostimulants on Nutrient Dense Foods

Today’s food is often calorie dense but nutrient low. Low nutrient-density in our foods is often blamed for human health issues such as obesity.

Plants take up nutrients from the soil but this is limited by the amount and type of nutrients in the soil and by their plant-availability.

One of the advantages of biologically active soils is that the microbes “release” minerals in the soil by changing their form into one that the plant can absorb.  This process of making soil nutrients more available is called mineralisation.  When plants grow in soils where more minerals are available they are able to take up more and this leads to nutrient-dense foods.

Not only are these nutrients important for human nutrition they are also key to extending shelf life and improving the flavour of vegetable crops.

Using a soil biostimulant such as Mycorrcin activates beneficial soil microbes and leads to increased soil uptake of soil nutrients in a range of different crops.  Below are some examples from a range of different crops.

Mycorrcin Improves Nutrient Uptake in Lettuces

Lettuces treated with Mycorrcin (and Foliacin) were analysed for nutrient content. The results showed that Mycorrcin and Foliacin treatment had increased the uptake of calcium, potassium and magnesium by 19, 27 and 25%, respectively (Table 1).

Table 1. Impact of Mycorrcin on Lettuce Nutrient Uptake (New Zealand)

Lettuce trial Pukekohe 2019 Standard Foliacin and Mycorrcin Difference
Potassium 7.7 9.2 19%
Calcium 1.35 1.71 27%
Magnesium 0.36 0.45 25%


In a long term apple trial with Royal Gala apples in Hawkes Bay, the regular application of Mycorrcin and Foliacin leads to improved calcium, magnesium and potassium levels.  In apples, calcium levels are very important for extending shelf life and reducing the presence of bitter pip. In blind taste tests, the Mycorrcin treated apples had a better flavour and were preferred by the testers.

Table 2. Apple fruit analysis mid-season – Royal gala long-term Mycorrcin trial with Mycorrcin and Digester

Mr Apple Close Royal Gala Median range Untreated Biostart treated Difference
Calcium mg/100g 7.0–11.0 7.1 7.7 8.5%
Potassium mg/100g 115–150 112 115 2.7%
Magnesium mg/100g 6.0–9.0 5.1 5.3 3.9%


In a long term trial with Pinot noir grapes, regular Mycorrcin applications increased the levels of calcium and magnesium by 12 and 15 % respectively at veraison.  In a subsequent analysis of the juice from these grapes, the Mycorrcin-treated grapes had better colour (anthocyanins), flavour, mouthfeel and aroma – all features key to making better wine.

Graphs 1 and 2. Leaf analysis at veraison – Year 3 of a Pinot noir Mycorrcin/Digester trial Fairhall, Marlborough

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