The influence of cultivation method on nitrate content in some lettuce samples

Dragan ŽNIDARČIČ, Veronika KMECL


The use of nitrogen fertilizers is one of the main effects for the accumulation of nitrates in plants. Conventional agriculture, in comparison to integrated and organic farming, causes greater environmental pollution and poorer quality of crops. Within the framework of the research, we studied the influence of the method of cultivation on the content of nitrates in the samples of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). The samples were received directly from growing areas from different parts of Slovenia and analysed in the laboratory for the nitrate content (NO3-) according to the accredited method. The samples from conventional cultivation showed the highest sample representation (51 %), with values in the highest concentration range (1000 - 2500 mg of NO3- kg-1, one sample exceeded 2500 mg kg-1 fresh mass). Within the framework of integrated cultivation, there were less such samples (34 %), and among the samples from organic cultivation no sample exceeded 1000 mg of NO3- kg-1. Of 88 analysed samples, one sample exceeded the statutory limit value applicable to lettuce of the type Iceberg ('Ljubljanska ledenka'). On average, the Iceberg samples contained more nitrates than other types of lettuce.


organic; conventional; integrated cultivation; nitrates; lettuce

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