May. 15, 2018
When tomatoes get partially far red interlighting instead of red/blue LED light, the production remains the same, but the taste score is higher due to the combination of a higher refraction value and increased 'bite'.
These preliminary results come from a lighting trial at Vereijken nurseries in Beek en Donk. The trial took place within the framework of the project 'Guidance and monitoring of energy innovations in practice' of Kas als Energiebron. Normally the tomatoes of the variety Campari are exposed here under 180 μmol/m2/s SON-T lighting and 60 μmol/m2/s red/blue LED interlighting. In two trial sections the interlighting is adjusted to 40 μmol/m2/s red/blue and 20 μmol/m2/s far red LED light.
From previous trials at Wageningen UR it was already apparent that the addition of far red light to LED or SON-T lighting increases the production and quality of tomatoes. Far red lighting is not within the PAR category, but it does have a positive effect on photosynthesis and it influences the assimilation distribution. More assimilation is going to the fruits. From the initial results of the lighting trial at the tomato nursery, it seems that some of these positive effects are also found when far red light is not added, but a part of the existing lighting is provided instead. The trial runs until the end of April. WUR researcher Kees Weerheim expects the positive effect on taste and fruit quality to continue with a steady production.