To show how different light qualities affect the overall efficiency and quality of Origanum majorana grown in an indoor farm, the resource consumption, yield, and cultivation time as well as the essential oil quantity was analyzed, and the efficiencies in terms of energy and land use efficiency calculated by the Department of Horticulture and Food Technology of the German University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf (HSWT).
"The experimental setup clearly demonstrated that the yield regarding fresh as well as dry matter and oil content was comparable to one square meter of open field production. Based on this, the multi-layer system and the noticeable lowered growth period result in a significantly higher area efficiency compared to the open field, leading to a potential increase of annual yields of dried leave weight and oil contents by up to 21 times," the researchers share.
"It was also shown that a white spectrum (W) showed similar influence on plant growth and yield as a spectrum consisting of blue and red (B/R). Nevertheless, the LED treatment W did show higher light use efficiencies as well as a better working conditions inside the cultivation chamber."
By an integration of indoor vertical farming into existing industrial processes, new and innovative opportunities for a flexible and low-risk supply chain seem feasible and according to German food industry meet the interests of existing stakeholders.