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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 11, Pages 1712-1725
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2011/937149
Research Article

Self-Organized Crystallization Patterns from Evaporating Droplets of Common Wheat Grain Leakages as a Potential Tool for Quality Analysis

1Department of Agroenvironmental Sciences and Technologies, University of Bologna, 40127 Bologna, Italy
2Department of Agronomic Science and Agro-Forestry Management, University of Firenze, 50144 Firenze, Italy
3Italian Society of Anthroposophical Medicine, 20121 Milano, Italy

Received 8 July 2011; Accepted 12 September 2011

Academic Editor: Margaret Tzaphlidou

Copyright © 2011 Maria Olga Kokornaczyk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We studied the evaporation-induced pattern formation in droplets of common wheat kernel leakages prepared out of ancient and modern wheat cultivars as a possible tool for wheat quality analysis. The experiments showed that the substances which passed into the water during the soaking of the kernels created crystalline structures with different degrees of complexity while the droplets were evaporating. The forms ranged from spots and simple structures with single ramifications, through dendrites, up to highly organized hexagonal shapes and fractal-like structures. The patterns were observed and photographed using dark field microscopy in small magnifications. The evaluation of the patterns was performed both visually and by means of the fractal dimension analysis. From the results, it can be inferred that the wheat cultivars differed in their pattern-forming capacities. Two of the analyzed wheat cultivars showed poor pattern formation, whereas another two created well-formed and complex patterns. Additionally, the wheat cultivars were analyzed for their vigor by means of the germination test and measurement of the electrical conductivity of the grain leakages. The results showed that the more vigorous cultivars also created more complex patterns, whereas the weaker cultivars created predominantly poor forms. This observation suggests a correlation between the wheat seed quality and droplet evaporation patterns.