Philips GrowWise reveals research results on light-enabled city farming on its 1st anniversary

 

Spicier mustard, more fragrant basil, fresher lettuce grown without daylight

August 30, 2016

Eindhoven, The Netherlands – Philips Lighting (Euronext Amsterdam ticker: LIGHT), a global leader in lighting, today shared results from over 50 research projects carried out at its GrowWise Center during its first year of operation. This facility at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands aims to develop the blueprint for the city farm of the future and is the largest research facility of its kind with a total growing surface of 234 square meters. The research findings confirm that growth recipes can be successfully used to influence virtually any characteristic of crops, from taste, texture, smell and color to yields, growth speed, blossoming and much more.

 

“Within one year of operations at Philips GrowWise, we have already developed many specific growth recipes for international retailers and city farm entrepreneurs,” says Udo van Slooten, Manager of Philips Horticulture LED Solutions. “Through our collaborations with plant breeders and professionals in the vertical farming market, we are becoming known as an expert in the entire growth process of plants and in developing indoor cultivation facilities with knowledge reaching beyond lighting.”

 

Research results help to re-engineer plants and improve standard crops

To expand the varieties of crops that can be grown in a vertical farm, trials have been done on broccoli, bimi, spring onions, radishes, strawberries and many others. In the strawberry trial, for example, GrowWise was able to raise the sugar level from a Brix value of 6-8 to 9.5, making it much sweeter and tastier. Early results from growing broccoli and bimi also show that these vegetables are suitable for growing in environments without daylight.

 

Other qualitative research trials resulted in low-nitrate lettuce which could have potential health benefits. GrowWise has successfully cultivated vibrant red Lolla Rossa lettuce, a popular variety with consumers that is difficult to color under artificial light. Other trials managed to grow more fragrant smelling basil to enhance taste and other plant qualities.

 

For standard indoor crops, such as salad greens and herbs, researchers are using growth recipes to improve specific characteristics, such as yield, texture or quality. One trial doubled the yield of Salanova frill lettuce compared to high-end greenhouses. Another trial extended the shelf life and crunchiness of salad greens, while another test produced spicier mustard leaves which might appeal to Asian consumers. 

Results from growers using Philips growth recipes can be found here: www.philips.com/horti

For further information, please contact:

Philips Horticulture LED Solutions

Daniela Damoiseaux 
Tel: +31631652969

E-mail: daniela.damoiseaux@philips.com

About Philips GrowWise

Philips GrowWise is the largest research facility of its kind with a total growing surface of 234 square meters. Philips Lighting growers and plant specialists trial a variety of crops under different lighting and climate conditions for a variety of purposes. Customizing crops in this manner can allow vertical farm producers to cultivate crops that give their enterprise a competitive edge in their market. They can adapt a crop to meet different cultural and taste preferences or innovate something completely new to attract new consumers. Since its opening, GrowWise has hosted over 2000 visitors from across the globe, from the European Ministers of Agriculture to leading retailers and plant breeders. As the demand for city farming facilities is expected to continue to grow rapidly, Philips GrowWise is committed to developing new technologies to make city farming more cost-effective and feasible for larger parts of the world. 

About Philips Lighting

Philips Lighting (Euronext Amsterdam ticker: LIGHT), a global leader in lighting products, systems and services, delivers innovations that unlock business value, providing rich user experiences that help improve lives. Serving professional and consumer markets, we lead the industry in leveraging the Internet of Things to transform homes, buildings and urban spaces. With 2015 sales of EUR 7.5 billion, we have approximately 36,000 employees in over 70 countries. News from Philips Lighting is located at http://www.newsroom.lighting.philips.com