Plantui, a Finnish developer of hydroponic smart gardens, and ORA, a Michelin restaurant based in Helsinki, have come up with the perfect dill algorithm. The smart garden developed by Plantui provides the plant with a spectrum of light frequencies that affect growth, and the device was programmed to grow a dill tailored for ORA. The taste, colour and texture of the herb were perfectly matched to the individual wishes of chef Sasu Laukkonen without having to alter the genetics of the plant.
In cooperation with ORA, the project investigated how varying light frequencies can affect the colour, flavour and texture of a plant. As a result of the testing, chef Sasu Laukkonen has achieved the perfect dill in the kitchen of the ORA restaurant without the use of artificial fertilisers or genetic manipulation of the plant. The herb was created using a perfect combination of red, blue and green light, which were applied to the plant at different stages of growth.
“We were literally able to conduct our tests in virgin soil, as no previous research on the effect of light frequencies on the taste and phytochemical properties of plants existed. As a result of our experiments, we managed to find the perfect dill algorithm,” says Plantui crop scientist Martina Angeleri.
In Finland, the year-round supply of fresh raw materials depends on greenhouse cultivation. Sasu Laukkonen believes that the mild flavour and delicate texture of herbs grown in a closed environment present challenges, especially for professional kitchens, where small details play a major role.
“Plantui and I have been growing herbs on location for years. Herbs cut straight from visible cultivation trays and placed directly on the customer’s plate have become part of ORA’s restaurant experience. When Plantui came up with the idea of testing something totally new, i.e. creating a dill with completely new characteristics, it was an easy project to get involved in,” says Sasu Laukkonen, chef and restaurateur at the Michelin-star restaurant ORA. “I drew up a list of the characteristics I wanted and the Plantui team set about finding solutions using different light combinations. The end result was stunning. We now have in our hands and ready to use a herb with the perfect taste, texture and colour. It’s amazing that by only using light this familiar plant has been refined to create an aromatic, fresh, tasty and vibrantly green herb.”
A northern ecosystem in a designer shell
A Plantui smart garden is a hydroponic, aquaculture-based ecosystem, where a pump irrigates and dries the roots of the plant. At the same time, LED lamps with different light frequencies provide the light necessary for growth. The innovation is based on the idea of engineer and designer Kari Vuorinen to take advantage of the special characteristics of Finland’s bright seasons all year round. For example, the blue and abundant light of the north produces a particularly tasty and vitamin-rich crop.
“Light affects different plants differently. We were able to find a recipe that works for dill, and now we are continuing our research to see how, using light frequencies, the same seed can be used to grow a plant to suit your taste. Smart gardening is primarily aimed at home growers, but the technology could just as easily be used professionally in a vertical garden, for example,” continues Martina Angeleri.
If you want more information about Plantui technology or wish to discuss with us about a Plantui tailored for your needs – you can contact Martina directly via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org