LED lights give vitamin C boost to tomatoes
In collaboration with Philips, the scientists tested various tomato varieties and various levels of light intensity.
The fruit were exposed to extra "sunlight" via hanging lights that lluminated clusters typically hidden in the shade of the plant's leaves.
The variety with the biggest reaction showed twice as much vitamin C content for fruit exposed to the lights as for those that were not.
The light exposure in this particular case was described as a quarter of the natural light intensity on a sunny day.
The research program will continue on in a new joint facility in Bleiswijk dedicated to investigating LED lamps in horticulture. Research has begun on other fruit and vegetables as well to determine the light's impact on nutritional value and flavor.