Vitacress

Increasing Shelf Life and Chill Tolerance

“What was really impressive was that we found that by changing the ratio of far-red and red, Vitacress could get the basil plants to actually be chill tolerant. By shining this different ratio of LED lights on basil for a period of time, we significantly extended the shelf life of our potted plants in the retail stores.”  
Chris Moncrieff, former Production Director, Vitacress

Problem:
Having to cope with cold winters, Vitacress was looking for a way to improve the performance of basil plants and better acclimate them for transport to stores during Britain’s colder, seasonal weather. They decided to team up with Royal Holloway University in London with the goal to find out how basil plants behaved in cold environments. 

Solution:
To implement their crop trials, Vitacress needed a flexible light source with the capability to change spectrum and set programmable light strategies across the day. After talking to several LED suppliers, Vitacress decided on Heliospectra’s high intensity ELIXIA light solution with software controls.

Vitacress discovered that by changing the ratio of far-red and red, they could produce chill tolerant basil plants.  By changing the wavelengths with an end-of-line-treatment, they were able to trigger changes in the plant cell structure and the results came instantly.

Applying this ratio of LED spectrum on basil before transport, Vitacress could significantly extend the shelf life of the potted plants in retail stores.

Results:
Using customized LED light treatments to extend the retail shelf life and increase the chill tolerance, Vitacress delivers a better, longer lasting and higher quality product.

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