17 May 2013
Tomatoes, juicy, delicious and even more nutritious -- thanks to LED lighting
In the Netherlands, they have been growing food in greenhouses for a long time. Lighting systems have improved production and extended growing seasons -- now they're pumping up the nutrition too.
Research by Wageningen University (Netherlands) Greenhouse Horticulture in collaboration with Philips has shown that tomatoes can be even more nutritious when grown with LED lighting. The partnership will be continued in a joint facility for research into the application of LED lamps in horticulture (IDC LED), which was to be opened in Bleiswijk (NL) this week.
In the tomato variety that showed the strongest reaction, the tomatoes receiving extra light from the LEDs contained up to twice as much vitamin C as the tomatoes not exposed to the LEDs. The doubling of the vitamin C level was achieved with an extra dose of light similar to a quarter of the natural light intensity on a sunny day.
Wageningen University and Research Greenhouse Horticulture performed its research within the framework of the project Gezond uit de Kas (Health from the Greenhouse), financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.