UK: Sustainable vertical farming meets personalized nutrition

A new project is set to bring sustainable vertical farming and personalized nutrition into the home and workplace by developing kitchen gardens that grow produce to match individual dietary needs. Through an app, users will be able to select crops to grow in hydroponic setups based on their personal nutritional habits and, by growing their own, cut down food miles to food meters.

The EIT Food, PERsonalised NUtrition through kitchen Gardens (PERNUG) project aims to develop attractive, state-of-the-art hydroponic systems for growing a range of different food plants in a domestic setting. EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

Using a specially designed app linked to the latest scientifically validated data on nutrition and health, consumers would be able to select from a range of different crops and varieties linked to their own personalized nutritional needs. The system would provide the seeds and the growing medium, which would if appropriate contain vitamins and minerals to biofortify the produce. The app would then provide tasty and nutritious recipes to help the consumer make the most of their kitchen garden bounty.

Dr. Paul Kroon from the Quadram Institute commented “Kitchen gardens have a range of consumer and environmental benefits compared to those obtained via conventional supply chains. But they also offer a great opportunity to deliver personalized nutrition, and in the PERNUG project we are developing kitchen gardens that grow more nutrient-rich plants and allowing users to select from carefully designed and delicious recipes that deliver the types and amounts of nutrients such as minerals and vitamins they need.”

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