Sky high nutrition content in food production

Celine C.S. Nicole

by Celine C.S. Nicole, Signify Research

Plant Factories (also known as indoor farms or vertical farms) are gaining widespread attention over the last few years. Pioneered in Japan, the last few years show an acceleration in the adoption of plant factories in other regions such as the USA, Canada, Europe and South-East Asia.

Leafy greens are crops that are very suitable to be grown in plant factories. Among them are lettuce, arugula and fresh herbs. Locally grown, these crops can reach the end-consumer faster and therefore the freshness can be guaranteed longer.

For those crops which are usually sold minimally processed, it is important that the quality and food safety is fulfilled. Apart from reducing risks from bacterial load and other micro-organisms, plant factories offer the possibility to grow these crops without pesticides.

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Vertical farming developments – Presented by Jasper den Besten, HAS University of Applied Sciences

Jasper den Besten

Jasper den Besten, HAS University of Applied Sciences, will speak at Vertical Farming Conference, on June 26, during AgriFood Innovation Event 2019 in Venlo, The Netherlands.

Vertical farming is a young industry and only at the beginning of its product-life-cycle. Technical developments go fast within the horticulture sector and even faster in the world around us. The innovation hype of vertical farming is over, the industry is getter mature and making more and more sense businesswise. The presentation gives an impression of challenges and future chances for this new type of farming.

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Indoor Urban Farming, the Beginning of a Sustainable Era in Food Production. How We can Reduce the Energy Demand Cost – Presented by Dafni Avgoustaki, Aarhus University

Dafni Avgoustaki

Dafni Avgoustaki, Aarhus University, will speak at Vertical Farming Conference, on June 26, during AgriFood Innovation Event 2019 in Venlo, The Netherlands.

Until 2050, it is estimated that global population will scale up to 10Billion people. This rapid escalation of population dynamics creates a lot of difficulties in food production and distribution at a global scale. People have to be fed with nutritious and fresh food and at the same time, this procedure has to sustainable and efficient both for humanity and the environment.

Last years, scientific world is focusing in a new, innovative and promising technology called plant factories. Plant factories can partly solve the problems of food waste and unjustified run-offs in food production, by supplying fresh fruit and vegetables at the so-called megacities (population> 10Million).

This novel type of farming gathers many optimizations from different scientific fields (engineering, agriculture, and mechanics) and promotes the sustainability in food production. Plant factories allow users to cultivate their plants in a completely isolated environment simulating the solar radiation with different types of lamps, advanced ventilation systems for heating and cooling of the cultivation area and hydroponic substrates that are water efficient (up to 90% water economy).

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Vertical Farming: Catalyst for Customer Value Creation in the Hospitality Industry – Presented by Cristian Toma, Kalera

cristian toma

Cristian Toma, Kalera (former Eco Convergence Group), will speak at at Vertical Farming Conference, on June 26, during AgriFood Innovation Event 2019 in Venlo, The Netherlands.

The vertical farming industry is now at the peak of expectations. However, this favorable window will close soon if we – as an industry – do not prove our economic viability. This is particularly challenging in a commoditized industry such as fresh produce supply. Technological innovation does not automatically lead to economic success – it must be applied in the right business context.

My presentation discusses how vertical farming can disrupt and innovate fresh produce supply in the hospitality industry. In order to be successful in a commoditized industry, one must be able to build durable customer relationships.

Vertical farming provides a platform that can be used as a catalyst for creating customer value, and the presentation shows how this can be achieved in the context of the hospitality industry.

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Vertical farming, a revolution in plant production – Presented by Leo Marcelis, Wageningen University

Leo Marcelis

Leo Marcelis, Wageningen University, will speak at Vertical Farming Conference, on June 26, during AgriFood Innovation Event 2019 in Venlo, The Netherlands.

Today’s rapidly urbanising societies challenge our food system to feed cities. Vertical Farming can provide a secure and sustainable route to provide cities with fresh food. Advantages are: no pesticides, no nutrient emission, only 2-4 litres of water per kg produce, much less land use, less waste, and lower food mileage, though energy use is still high. Continue reading “Vertical farming, a revolution in plant production – Presented by Leo Marcelis, Wageningen University”

Light recipes enable sky high vitamins and a longer shelf life in leafy greens – Presented by Celine Nicole, Philips Lighting

Celine Nicole

Light recipes enable sky high vitamins and a longer shelf life in leafy greens – Presented by Celine Nicole, Philips Lighting, at the Vertical Farming Conference, on Jun 27, 2018, at Brightlands Campus, Villa Flora, Venlo, The Netherlands. Read the interview

Vertical farming is a technology that controls climate, water, nutrients and light to grow vegetables and soft fruits in a closed environment. This allows them to grow pesticide free and without other contaminants.

Philips Lighting Research investigated how to influence the post-harvest quality of leafy greens by controlling the pre-harvest growth conditions while keeping a high production rate. Several standard LED lighting recipes (red/blue or red/white either with or without far red) are in use in commercial vertical farms.

In this research we used baby leaf spinach and rocket from various cultivars all grown in a vertical farm research facility at Philips Lighting GrowWise Center in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. We used the standard red white LED light recipe as control, while we changed the spectrum with higher blue and/or higher far-red or applied few days of continuous light stimulation just before the harvest (pre-harvest). Quality at harvest and quality loss during postharvest storage was monitored. We observed that light quality affects shelf life of baby leaf spinach and rocket by several days. Continue reading “Light recipes enable sky high vitamins and a longer shelf life in leafy greens – Presented by Celine Nicole, Philips Lighting”