As a seed-bearing plant reaches that post- flowering point of actually making a seed, it's intent on packing all of the necessary building blocks for the life of the next generation into each seed. This provide-for-the-next- generation process involves some sophisticated bio-chemistry. Many of the minerals and trace minerals involved in a growing plant are unstable in their pure, atomic, elemental or ionic form, except when dissolved. I.e. in solution in the sap-stream of the plant. Zinc, phosphorous, magnesium and calcium are examples. To make them stable, they're converted by the plant's bio-chemical processes into a large, complex and highly stable chain molecule called a phytate, e.g. Calcium phytate.
However, to ensure that such essential minerals are available to the next generation, to the newly germinating seed-cum-plant-to- come, the parent plant also sequesters an enzyme in the germ and husk of the maturing seed. This enzyme is capable of breaking the bonds between those essential mineral atoms and the phytate molecule. The latent potential of these enzymes is activated by the same water that germinates the seed. Once activated, the enzyme then needs anything from 6 to 12 hours to "get around" the germinating seed and 'unlock' the essential minerals for the developing plant.