To meet consumer demand for locally produced fresh tomatoes, greenhouse farms often rely on additional lighting to grow tomatoes during off-season.
And farmers are beginning to see the advantages of LED lights. Because of the advantages of LED lights, they hope to replace the high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps in greenhouses. A recent study provided some information on the feasibility of using LED lighting for greenhouse tomatoes.
Michael Dzakovich, Celina Gomez and Cary Mitchell of purdue university's department of agriculture and landscape architecture in the United States published the findings at HortScience. They point out LED lighting as an alternative to high - pressure sodium lamps. "People were curious about the effects of phytochemicals and olfactory levels on high-value greenhouse crops that use LED lights as a source of light," they noted. But so far, there have been almost no studies on fruit crops that have been exposed to LED light for long periods of time to mature into tomatoes."
The researchers conducted three separate studies investigating the effect of the amount and quality of supplemental lighting on greenhouse grown tomatoes. Plants are the control group completely exposed to natural sunlight, natural sunlight plus HPS lamp auxiliary lighting, and natural sunlight plus LED plant growth lamp. Scientists collect chromaticity, sugar (Brix), titratable acidity (titrable acidity), electrical conductivity, electrical conductivity) and pH pH value to analyze the plant response to lighting. "Contrary to our original hypothesis, fruit quality was not affected at all by LED auxiliary light sources," the researchers said.
The study also involved inviting teams of tasters to measure the color, acidity and sweetness of tomatoes, using a combination of instruments. The tasters must also assess the tomato's colour, aroma, touch, sweetness, acidity, aftertaste and wholeness. "We can then decide whether the data endorsed by physical chemistry will also be reflected in consumers' perceptions of tomato quality."
The tasters said the differences in materialization data were impossible for them to discern by the tasters; In fact, the tasting group could not tell the difference between tomatoes with different auxiliary lighting and tomatoes with no auxiliary light at all.
Studies have shown that the quality of greenhouse tomatoes is unaffected by the availability of auxiliary lighting. Data from the physicochemical measurements show only slight differences between the control groups, and these differences have been confirmed by the tasters to be too subtle to discern.
The researchers say the findings have positive implications for farmers who want to import LED lighting into their greenhouses. "The intensity and wavelength of the LED auxiliary light source had no negative effect on the quality of the greenhouse tomato results and showed that the LED light source was suitable as an alternative to HPS lights with overheating problems.