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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1137: International Symposium on Innovation in Integrated and Organic Horticulture (INNOHORT)

LED light to improve strawberry flavour, quality and production

Authors:   M.A.A. Hanenberg, J. Janse, W. Verkerke
Keywords:   Fragaria × ananassa, greenhouse horticulture, light-emitting diode, ascorbic acid, refraction, acid level, aroma
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1137.29
A current demonstration in the greenhouses of Wageningen UR in Bleiswijk (The Netherlands) shows positive effects of LED light on the quality and production of strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa). In this demonstration two strawberry cultivars, 'Elsanta' and 'Sonata', were exposed to three different light treatments. The first treatment consists of top LED light only (90 µmol m-2 s-1), the second of top LED light with additional LED light on the leaves (200 µmol m-2 s-1) and the last of top LED light with additional LED lighting on the fruits (90 µmol m-2 s-1). Strawberries were harvested two times per week from October till December and each time total production was determined. Repeated measurements on refraction, titratable acid and vitamin C content were conducted in addition to flavour testing by a consumer panel and a sensory expert panel. Results point out that treatment with additional LED light on leaves and the treatment with LED light on fruits results in a significant increase in yield, flavour, refraction, titratable acid and vitamin C content. Lighting on fruits causes an even higher increase in vitamin C content than lighting on leaves. The observed effect of additional LED lighting on the fruits is surprising, since only 90 µmol m-2 s-1 was available to the plant compared to 200 µmol m-2 s-1 in the other treatment. Our findings indicate that LED lighting is a promising technique in greenhouse horticulture to optimize flavour, nutritional value and production of strawberries.

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