Dümmen Orange Researchers Study Impact of Light on Plant Fragrance
In the past few months, Dümmen Orange has participated in an indoor trial of a selection of its annuals at the Dutch indoor farming company Seven Steps To Heaven in Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
The Seven Steps To Heaven team’s experience, knowledge, techniques and location provided an opportunity for Dümmen Orange to test its crops under different circumstances and the potential of fragrance in the products.
The combination of optimal growth conditions for crops, production opportunities close to the market and a controlled and biological environment is synergistic towards growers as well as consumers.
The main objective of this research was to find out if plants produce more fragrance under high light conditions rather than under low light conditions. Over a six-week period, trials were executed under different circumstances (normal greenhouse in the Netherlands, low intensity photosynthesis, and high intensity photosynthesis in combination with optimal temperature and evaporation).
Several crops were tested, including begonia, lavender and sweet alyssum. The test team assumed that a larger photosynthetic capacity, caused by high intensity LED light, would lead to the formation of more secondary metabolites, which should make the fragrance more intense than under low light conditions.
The team discovered that some crops emit a fragrance in the indoor farm but did not when tested in a regular greenhouse. Additionally, they found that high light intensity results in more fragrance. Growers can enhance their marketing opportunities by applying a photosynthesis boost in a later stage, to increase the fragrance of his crop.
Although the test was preliminary, the effect of light and other trial circumstances will definitely impact the future of producing plants.