A team from the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (Neiker-Tecnalia) has questioned the generally held belief that the quality of tomatoes depends primarily on their exposure to natural light and states that the most determining factor is temperature.
The research was drawn up by the Institute's Department of Agricultural Production and Protection and opens up great possibilities for starting new plantations in zones where light intensity is low due to weather conditions.
The findings are of particular interest in geographic zones such as the Cantabrian mountain range in the north of Spain, where there is frequent cloud cover and an average of 140 rainy days per year, and which could be suitable for growing greenhouse tomatoes, despite low levels of solar radiation.
The study evaluated the different indicators for organoleptic (taste and texture) quality and nutritional quality, such as acidity, soluble solids, phenolic compounds, pH and vitamin C content. To this end, the tomato plants were exposed to photosynthetic radiation between 30 and 50% less than the usual for the sunny zones in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, at the same time as studying other tomato plants undergoing 100% exposure. Cultivation was carried out on soil, in a greenhouse without artificial heating and shaded in a small area so that air currents were able to homogenise the temperature within the plantation.
The results showed that the organoleptic and nutritional quality was very similar between the plants exposed to greater solar radiation and those with less. Another conclusion of the research opens up the possibility of reducing costs of heating, something that researchers in other European countries such as the Netherlands are working on – through the selection of seed varieties that need less energy. According to Mr Patrick Riga, the author of the report, "heating bills can be reduced while obtaining the same quality of tomato"; although, as a disadvantage, yield is less. In Mr Riga's opinion, "growers have to choose between production or quality".
Researchers are now focusing on analysing how much the temperature can be reduced in order to cut down on energy consumption without affecting quality parameters. These findings can also be applied to other kinds of fruit with high nutritional value, such as strawberries, cucumbers, melons and watermelons.
Amaia Portugal | EurekAlert!
New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences