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!
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
16.01.2017 | Information Technology
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering