Electrolyzed Water in Agriculture
September 18, 2015

Tasmanian researchers investigate using electrolysed water on crops

By Sallese Gibson

Tasmanian vegetable farmers could soon be using electrolysed water on their crops as an alternative to some chemicals, if tests confirm suspected benefits.

Electrolysed water works as a surface sanitiser, and is produced by passing an electrical current through salt water.

Researchers said it has been used extensively in some overseas countries as a cleaning agent, but little is known about its effectiveness in production horticulture.

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) has partnered with the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture to investigate its use in the vegetable industry.

The institute's Professor Roger Stanley said he was confident electrolysed water had potential.

"The future here is probably very good," Professor Stanley said.

"We can use it to extend the shelf life of food.

"The other use could be as a field sanitiser, for controlling the fungal bacteria infection in crops.

"It's a contact sanitiser so it doesn't have systemic effects but will prevent the infection from getting into the plant."

TFGA expects 'broad applications'

Karine Cadoret from the TFGA agreed.

"The applications really are quite broad and they can stretch from in-field use, right the way through to packaging," Ms Cadoret said.

"Electrolysed water technology [could be used for] disease suppression in-field or cleaning of equipment perhaps for biosecurity purposes, right the way through washing fresh produce to extend the shelf life."

She said she hoped the technology would reduce the industry's reliance on chemicals.

"Disease in production systems is obviously a big issue," she said.

"We do have, in conventional farming, an array of chemicals that can be used - but obviously there are risks associated with that.

"So to have another tool, part of the array of the things that [they] can use to ensure that their production will yield good results has obviously got a lot of potential benefits."

Professor Stanley said he hoped the move would help the industry move away from some chemicals.

"At the moment, a lot of crops develop around spray programs using fungicides and insecticides," he said.

"[Electrolysed water] has the potential to lower the use of fungicides by preventing the infection in the first place.

"It's a novel and innovative use of an old technology and we really want our farmers to be up and taking advantage of these new uses."

Agronomist backs electrolysed water

Mark Parkinson has been using electrolysed water in his agronomy business in Queensland for the past two years.

"It's made a big difference in helping me getting my farmers to point A to point B, without getting crucified with diseases," he said.

Mr Parkinson said he found it effective in reducing the occurrence of white rot in onion crops.

"Instead of a 90 per cent destruction of the paddocks, it's been a 90 per cent keepsake or more, 95 per cent.

"I don't believe in golden bullets and this is not a golden bullet, don't get me wrong, but it's pretty close."

He said it was a much cheaper alternative to most chemicals.

"The inputs in agriculture... [are] beginning to cripple the farming industry," he said.

"[Electrolysed water] costs three cents a litre to make.

"So you can throw on your $150 or $100-a-hectare chemicals, they just don't work.

"This is three cents a litre, at 750 litres a hectare, and it does work."

Karine Cadoret agreed.

"In terms of production, it's got great, sort of productivity and cost reduction ... applications," she said.

She said she believed it could also further enhance the reputation of Tasmania's agriculture industry.

"The clean and green and safe image of the Tasmanian produce would definitely benefit from having technology like this," she said.

"The technology has actually been certified for organic production systems and it's safe for the environment, as well as being safe for humans."

Nathan Richardson is a farmer on Tasmania's north-west coast.

He said he was excited at the prospect of using electrolysed water as part of his farming enterprise.

"As soon as I heard about it I thought 'right, does that work in my poultry operation, for either sanitisation or water consumption for the animals?'" he said.

"I care about the soil and the environment and the people that are eating our food.

"Anything we can do to lessen the impact on the flora and fauna through the use of pesticides has got to be a great thing."

Handbook-Agricultural Practice using Functional Electrolyzed Water

This handbook was translated from the original Japanese some years ago. Written by a gentleman named Hiromu Kohno, it outlines his Organic Agricultural experiences with Functional Electrolyzed Water, or Super-Electrolyzed Water.

It is entitled “Organic Agriculture made possible by the Power of Electrons”-

“Agricultural Practice using Super-Electrolyzed Water”

Organic Agriculture-Introduction & Table of contents
Organic Agriculture-Chapter 1-Using Super Electrolyzed Water for Organic Agriculture
Organic Agriculture-Chapter 2-The Mechanism of Electrolyzed Water
Organic Agriculture-Chapter 3-Production & Safety of FEW
Organic Agriculture-Chapter 4-Maximising FEW Usage

Electro Water -- The Most Powerful Water on Earth

Ionized Water. Alkaline Water. Electrically Activated Water. Ionized Alkaline Water. Anti Microbial Ionized Water. Functional Electrolyzed Water.

These are just a few of the many names being used to describe the next generation of water technology. The first generation of water products produced only clean water. Water filters, water purifiers, ion exchange or water softeners, distillers – all just removed contaminants or constituents from water.

This website will help to inform the reader of the History and Science behind the Technology of Functional Electrolyzed Water.

Water technology has now evolved to Ionization. A water ionizer is a form of water technology that can actually alter the properties of the water.

This alteration in water is creating “Functional Electrolyzed Water”(FEW) – a different kind of water. This is not simply clean water, but water that has acquired very different properties that give it powerful functionality or uses at different levels of alteration.

Functional Water technology is available now and can significantly impact your efficiency, operational effectiveness, environmental footprint and bottom line.

The technology behind Functional Electrolyzed Water (FEW) is based on the science of Electrolysis, the origins of which date back to the 19th Century when the prominent Scottish scientist Michael Faraday first began experimenting with water and electricity.

What is Functional Electrolyzed Water (FEW)?

Restructured water produced through a controlled electrolysis process is referred to as Functional Electrolyzed water.  Based upon electrolytes and the application of electrical current to tap water, the controlled electrolysis process transformed tap water into a functional agricultural water.

The term “functional” describes a  newly-designated descriptor.  The term describes the ability of the generic element or component to possess secondary benefits that were previously unknown.  When an element that triggers a beneficial result is researched and found, this mechanism is designated as a “functional” contributor to the beneficial result.

As an example, grapes are commonly known to be small, round and juicy berries found in clusters, growing on a grapevine.  Grapes have been historically consumed as a fruit or known to be the key element in the production of an alcoholic beverage, Wine.

In recent years, it has become scientifically known that wine, a by product created from grapes, possessing valuable antioxidant elements, polyphenols, provides valuable antioxidant properties effective in their controlling of excess of free radical damage within the human body.

Based upon the finding, grape and wine are now considered to be a “functional” fruit and a “functional” beverage, in other words and effective “functional” medium that collaterally provides a benefit as an end result

Likewise, resulting from the unique properties that are instilled into tap water, through the controlled electrolysis process, we have been able to produce a “functional” water capable of controlling mildew and fungus, along with serving as an effective soil nutrients and plant wellness and medium.  And the end results that are attained are larger yields, more effective root systems, stronger plants and minimal usage of chemicals

Applications of Functional Water  in Agriculture

There are significant applications of FEW in the agricultural arena. FEW has been in use in Japanese dairy farms for many years, the measurable results have long been accessible on the Internet. The increase in milk production ranging from 18-20%, and the decrease in hormones, and antibiotics in the animal feed received major attention when the data was first published on line in 1996.

A small study was conducted in Colorado in 2002, which bore out some of the milk production statistics. In 2008, EAU, an American publicly traded Company, in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine conducted and published a significant study on the effects of their Empowered Water on a Holstein dairy herd. Empowered Water has the same characteristics as FEW...

What is also significant is the use of Anti Microbial Ionized Water (AMI) Water on livestock. Due to it’s anti-microbial properties, (AMI) Water is used as a foot rinse, anointed on wounds, cuts, abrasions etc, with a high degree of effectiveness. Wounds appear to heal much faster than using typical veterinary methodologies.

Due to its’ characteristics, it is not harmful to the animals, there no long term effects, which can be experienced with the use of antibiotics.

Here are some Agricultural Applications of FEW

Dairy applications,
Hog applications,
Poultry applications,
Equine applications,
Bovine applications.
Sterilization of agricultural devices.
Silage Making.

In addition to Animal husbandry, there are areas in crop production where FEW is used to great effect

Pesticidal and insecticidal reduction on plants.
Potato Blight removal.
Rice Fungus application,
Vegetable seed germination,
Plant growth acceleration,
Plant growth control,

Applications of Electrolyzed Water in Agriculture & Food Industries

Muhammad Imran AL-HAQ, et al.

Microbial control of postharvest diseases has been extensively studied and appears to be a viable technology. Food safety must be ensured at each postharvest processing step, including handling, washing of raw materials, cleaning of utensils and pipelines, and packaging. Several commercial products are available for this purpose. The time is ripe for developing new techniques and technologies. The use of electrolyzed water (EW) is the product of a new concept developed in Japan, which is now gaining popularity in other countries. Little is known about the principle behind its sterilizing effect, but it has been shown to have significant bactericidal and virucidal and moderate fungicidal properties. Some studies have been carried out in Japan, China, and the USA on the pre- and postharvest application of EW in the field of food processing. EW may be produced using common salt and an apparatus connected to a power source. As the size of the machine is quite small, the water can be manufactured on-site. Studies have been carried out on the use of EW as a sanitizer for fruits, utensils, and cutting boards. It can also be used as a fungicide during postharvest processing of fruits and vegetables, and as a sanitizer for washing the carcasses of meat and poultry. It is cost-effective and environment-friendly. The use of EW is an emerging technology with considerable potential.

Full Article ( PDF ) :

Application of Electricity Functional Water in Agriculture

XU Wei-zhong,ZHU Li-xia,CHEN Jian-hua

This article introduced a kind of physical treated water called electricity functional water,which could sterilize the bacteria and promote plant growth.A systematic analysis was made on the formation,mechanism and biological effect of electricity functional water.It described the application of electricity functional water in agriculture,including sterilization,soil improvement,storage technology,agricultural products processing and seed treatment.The importance and prospects of electricity functional water in the production of nuisance-free agricultural products were also discussed.

Application of Electrolyzed Strong Acid Water

DONG Tie You, et al.

The basic principle for producing electrolyzed strong acid water and the fundamental mechanisms of its sterilization effect are discussed.The possible application of electrolyzed strong acid water is pointed out.It is an urgent,and good for everyone,work in China to develop and utilize electrolyzed strong acid water.Especially it is good for the environment protection in China and for preventing the spreading of the aids and other diseases.

Basic Structure and Parameters of Batch Typed Three-cell Electrodialysis Stack for Strong Oxidized Water Making

HONG Yan, et al.

A method of producing strong oxidized water using three-cell electrodialysis stack by membrane electrodialysis was proposed.Operating priniciples and processing data were provided,and the selections of composition materials were discussed.Depending on the experiment,the optimal conditions for producing strong oxidized water were obtained,i.e.when the distance of electrode pairs is 10 cm,the concentration of NaCl is 5.32% and the voltage is 32V,the efficiency for producing strong oxidized water with this kind of device is the highest.The relation between operation current density and current efficiency was also discussed.

Study on Extracting Humic Acid from Peat by Two-step Method with Electrolytic Water

Li Liang, et al.
The method extracting humic acid with NaOH is used widely at home and abroad, while it has some short-comings. Electrolytic water not only is an especial and functional water with sterilization, deodorization, activation and oxidation, but also is economical and environmental-friendly, and easy to be produced. In this paper, multi-experiments were designed to analyze the extracting effect and rule from peat using two-step method, i.e., pretreated with acidic electrolytic water fi rstly, and then extracted with alkaline electrolytic water. Some optimal parameters were defi ned finally, such as the initial concentration of NaCl in electrolytic water was 5%, the ratios of acid-peat and alkaline-peat were 10∶1 and 15∶1, and the reaction temperature and reaction time were 40 ℃and 3 h, respectively. This paper also analyzed the practical value of this method, and would provide references for industrial application.

The Effect of Electrolyzed Water on Chinese Cabbage Seeds Germination

Deng Lixin, et al.

For the special efficacy of electrolyzed water and the status that electrolyzed water is less studied on leafy vegetables,in order to provide basis for electrolyzed water used in the cultivation of Chinese cabbage and other leafy vegetables,the effect of soaking Chinese cabbage seeds with electrolyzed water was studied under laboratory conditions.The results showed that pH value of the electrolyzed water was an important factor that affected the Chinese cabbage seeds germination.The acidic electrolyzed water of pH 3.30 could accelerate seeds germinating and raise fresh weight of shoots significantly;strong acidic electrolyzed water and alkaline electrolyzed water would slow down the speed of seeds germination and inhibit both germination rate and fresh weight of shoots;besides,neutral electrolyzed water have no clear effect on germination potential,germination rate and fresh weight of shoots.Preliminary view was that,In addition,the results also showed that 2h of soaking time was appropriate;when soaking time was too short,the electrolyzed water could not have any effect,and soaking too long would have a negative effect on the seeds germination.

Effect of Electrolyzed Water on Growth and Development,Nutritional Quality of Chinese Cabbage

HOU Meng-shi, et al.

In order to provide basis for using electrolyzed water in the cultivation of Chinese cabbage and other leafy vegetables,the effect of electrolyzed water on photosynthesis,growth and yield,nutritional quality of Chinese cabbage was studied under laboratory conditions in present paper.The results showed that the photosynthesis,the growth and yield,the nutritional quality of Chinese cabbage treated with electrolyzed at different pH water differed significantly.Acidic electrolyzed water could enhance the leaf Net Photosynthetic Rate(Pn).The chlorophyll accumulation,leaf number and yield of Chinese cabbage were increased by sprinkle irrigation acidic electrolyzed water and alkaline electrolytic water on the roots.Alkalin electrolyzed water irrigation on the root could increased the Vc content of Chinese cabbage.

Effect of Soaking Cucumber Seed with Different Concentration Acidic Electrolyzed Water on Seed Germination and Seedling Quality

Gao Xinhao, et al.

The effect of soaking cucumber seed with different concentration acidic electrolyzed water was studied. The results showed that the acidic electrolyzed water with appropriate concentration could accelerate seed germinating and raise seedling quality. The optimum acidic electrolyzed water characteristics for cucumber seed soaking should be about: pH 2.40,ORP 1150mv,concentration of available chlorine 25 mg/L.
Journal of Food Science, Volume 71, Issue 6, pages M168–M173, August 2006
DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2006.00064.x

Effects of Ultrasound, Irradiation, and Acidic Electrolyzed Water on Germination of Alfalfa and Broccoli Seeds and Escherichia coli O157:H7

Hyun Jung Kim, Hao Feng, Mosbah M. Kushad andXuetong Fan

ABSTRACT:  The ability of power ultrasound, acidic electrolyzed water (AEW), and gamma irradiation to inactivate Escherichia coli O157:H7 inoculated onto alfalfa and broccoli seeds was examined. The treatment conditions under which the alfalfa and broccoli seeds treated with sterile deionized water (SW), AEW, ultrasound cleaning tank (UST), ultrasound probe (USP), and irradiation (IR) would retain a germination percentage of >85% were first determined for each disinfection hurdle. E. coli O157:H7 inactivation tests were then conducted with the experimental conditions determined in the germination tests to find out the maximum inactivation ability of each disinfection hurdle. AEW treatment at 55 oC for 10 min reduced E. coli O157:H7 population by 3.4 and 3.3 log CFU/g for the alfalfa and broccoli seeds, respectively. IR at 8 kGy resulted in a 5-log reduction with seed germination of >85% for both seed types, but a reduction in the length and thickness of the sprouts was observed. None of the ultrasound treatments achieved over a 2-log reduction in E. coli O157:H7 population without lowering the germination to below 85%. The results of this study demonstrated that AEW and ultrasound, when applied individually or in combination with thermal treatment at 55 oC, were not able to deliver a satisfactory inactivation of E. coli O157:H7. A combination of several hurdles must be used to achieve a complete elimination of E. coli O157:H7 cells on alfalfa and broccoli seeds.

The preservation of fresh grape by the acidic electrolyzed water

WU Long1, et al.

The fresh grape was processed by tap-water and different kinds of Acidic Electrolyzed Water(AEW). The microbe total number, mold total number, decay ratio and shedding ratio were evaluated. The results showed that the microbe total number and loss ratio of the grape dipped with different AEW were reduced remarkably. It was also showed that the strong acidic electrolyzed water had the best effect. The commercial value and edible safety of fresh post harvest grape could be enhanced by processing with the acidic electrolyzed water.

Plant Disease, July 1999, Volume 83, Number 7, Pages 627-632

Comparison of Effects of Acidic Electrolyzed Water and NaOCl on Tilletia indica Teliospore Germination

M. R. Bonde, et al.

Definitive identification of free teliospores of Tilletia indica, causal agent of Karnal bunt of wheat, requires polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostic tests. Since direct PCR amplification from teliospores has not been reliable, teliospores first must be germinated in order to obtain adequate DNA. We have routinely surface-sterilized teliospores for 2 min with 0.4% (vol/vol) sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) to stimulate germination and produce axenic cultures. However, we observed that some spores were killed even with a 2-min NaOCl treatment, the shortest feasible duration. Decreasing the NaOCl concentration in our study from 0.4% to 0.3 and 0.2%, respectively, increased teliospore germination, but treatment times longer than 2 min still progressively reduced the germination percentages. In testing alternative methods, we found “acidic electrolyzed water” (AEW), generated by electrolysis of a weak solution of sodium chloride, also surface-sterilized and increased the rate of T. indica teliospore germination. In a representative experiment comparing the two methods, NaOCl (0.4%) for 2 min and AEW for 30 min increased germination from 19% (control) to 41 and 54%, respectively, by 7 days after treatment. Because teliospores can be treated with AEW for up to 2 h with little, if any, loss of viability, compared with 1 to 2 min for NaOCl, treatment with AEW has certain advantages over NaOCl for surface sterilizing and increasing germination of teliospores of suspect T. indica.
Food Control, Volume 22, Issue 8, August 2011, Pages 1311–1315

Application of electrolyzed functional water on producing mung bean sprouts

Liu Ruia, et ak.


Electrolyzed functional water possesses a wide variety of antimicrobial activities. Electrolyzed functional water, which used to take place of tap water in producing mung bean sprouts, was studied in this paper. The results showed that electrolyzed water can not only reduce the quantity of microorganism on the surface of mung bean sprouts, but also promote the growth of sprouts. Further research showed that electrolyte leakage rate of mung bean soaked in electrolyzed water was the lowest, while the catalase’s activity of mung bean soaked in electrolyzed water was the highest. All of these contribute to the high activity of mung bean.


PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide a technique suitable for use in an electrolyzed water producing apparatus that can efficiently produce weakly acidic or weakly alkaline electrolyzed water. SOLUTION: The electrolyzed water producing apparatus 10 includes: an anode chamber 20 equipped with an anode electrode 22; a cathode chamber 30 equipped with a cathode electrode 32; an intermediate chamber 40, provided between the anode chamber 20 and the cathode chamber 30 for storing an aqueous electrolyte solution, an anion exchange membrane 24 for partitioning the anode chamber 20 and the intermediate chamber 40 from each other; and a cation exchange membrane 34 for partitioning the cathode chamber 30 and the intermediate chamber 40 from each other. The anode chamber 20 and the cathode chamber 30 are in communication with a communication hole 52 provided on a partition wall 50. The electrolyzed water producing apparatus 10 is preferably applied to apparatuses in which sterilization is necessary, for example, water purifiers.

Some related articles ( among many ):
Application of electrolyzed water in the food industry
Journal of Food Protection®, Number 5, May 2001, pp. 599-743
Decontamination of Lettuce Using Acidic Electrolyzed Water
International Journal of Food Microbiology, Volume 130, Issue 2, 31 March 2009, Pages 88–93
Efficiency of slightly acidic electrolyzed water for inactivation of Salmonella enteritidis and its contaminated shell eggs
Food Control, Volume 20, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 294–297
Disinfection efficacy of slightly acidic electrolyzed water on fresh cut cabbage
Journal of Food Engineering, Volume 91, Issue 4, April 2009, Pages 582–586
Physicochemical properties and bactericidal efficiency of neutral and acidic electrolyzed water under different storage conditions
International Journal of Food Microbiology, Volume 139, Issue 3, 15 May 2010, Pages 147–153
Effectiveness of low concentration electrolyzed water to inactivate foodborne pathogens under different environmental conditions


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