Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Microgreens Go from Trendy Vegetables to Functional Food

Microgreens Go from Trendy Vegetables to Functional Food

Sprouts of micro green broccoli, courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Starting decades ago as fashionable, high-value gourmet greens, today microgreens have gained popularity among consumers for their nutritional profile and high content of antioxidant compounds. Now, a new study suggests that the tiny plants have the potential to help provide global nutrition security.

As part of a project titled, "Food Resilience in the Face of Catastrophic Global Events," an international team of researchers has found these vegetables can be grown in a variety of soilless production systems in small spaces indoors, with or without artificial lighting. The findings are especially relevant amid a pandemic that has disrupted food supply chains.

“The current COVID-19 pandemic revealed the vulnerability of our food system and the need to address malnutrition issues and nutrition-security inequality, which could be exacerbated by potential future emergencies or catastrophes,” said Penn State University Assistant Professor, team leader Francesco Di Gioia. “Nutrient-dense microgreens have great potential as an efficient food-resilience resource.”

Open Philanthropy and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture supported this research. For more information, read this Penn State News article.


Farm Bill Priority Areas
Plant health, production, and products
U.S. States and Territories

Your feedback is important to us.

Take the Website Survey