Better results from reduced fertilisers – better for the environment, better for you. Mactavish:West study the effect of reduced fertilisers on bioactives in vegetables
The problem: The major producer (>75% market share) of a particular field-grown vegetable in the UK asked MacTavish:West to recommend the key bioactives of interest, and the factors they could manipulate to improve the flavour and/or healthiness of their produce. We made recommendations to monitor carotenoids in this species, which are linked with visual quality of the produce as well as vitamin A content. Also to vary rates of Nitrogen and Potassium (N and K, respectively).
The solution: MacTavish:West collected samples from the grower immediately after harvest of an in-house trial, and arranged for analysis at an accredited laboratory. The results were received and interpreted by MacTavish:West.
The results: Recommendations were made for a potential reduction in fertiliser with no deleterious effect on crop colour or the content of bioactives. We are now working towards looking at the post-harvest browning potential of shelf-ready produce – monitoring and reducing this.
'MacTavish:West provided us with innovative suggestions for maximising the flavour profile of our products, backed up by science and with a commercial approach.'
Harvest Freshcuts, Australia.