VTT’s CellPod Mean Local Foods Can be Grown at Home

636119530216394694cell.jpg

13 Oct 2016 --- A home appliance that grows the ingredients for a healthy meal within a week from plant cells is no longer science fiction. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd's first 3D-printed CellPod prototype is already producing harvests. 

VTT and its plant biotechnology research scientists have the vision of developing a home appliance for the markets that makes it possible to grow, say, healthy Finnish berries in a new way. Growing plant cells in a bioreactor is not a new idea as such, but only the latest technologies have enabled the development of a plant cell incubator for home use that yields a harvest within a week.

VTT's first CellPod prototype is currently producing a harvest in Otaniemi. The appliance resembles a design lamp and is ideal for keeping on a kitchen table. Researchers are in the process of developing different product ideas in collaboration with consumers, with the aim of commercialising the concept.

“Urbanization and the environmental burden caused by agriculture are creating the need to develop new ways of producing food - CellPod is one of them. It may soon offer consumers a new and exciting way of producing local food in their own homes,” says Lauri Reuter, VTT research scientist.

Putting the best parts of plants to use 
The idea of the CellPod concept is based on growing the undifferentiated cells of a plant rather than a whole plant. In other words, only the best parts of a plant are cultivated. These cells contain the plant’s entire genetic potential, so they are capable of producing the same healthy compounds – such as antioxidants and vitamins – as the whole plant. The nutritional value of a cloudberry cell culture, for example, is similar to or even better than that of the berry itself. The taste still needs development: at the moment, it is very mild and neutral.

So far, VTT has used cells from its own culture collection to grow Arctic bramble cells, cloudberry cells and stone bramble cells in the CellPod. The bioreactor also enables the production of healthy food from plants other than traditional food crops, such as birch. The development of tailored cell lines is also possible, in which case nutritional characteristics can be developed according to need. On the other hand, the optimisation of growth conditions, such as light and temperature, can also affect the compounds produced by the cells – just like in nature.

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

US researchers boost aquaculture production by reducing high mortality rates

24 Jan 2018 --- Researchers at Oregon State University are developing a new technology to deliver water-soluble nutrients to aquaculture-raised fish, oysters, clams and shrimp that will boost their growth rates and reduce the high rates of mortality that plague the industry.

Food Ingredients News

Taiyo eyes new opportunities for beverages with tea extract range

23 Jan 2018 --- Ingredients specialist Taiyo has launched a new range of herbal teas, Sunphenon Instant Teas, which allow manufacturers to create tea-based products with valuable health benefits and a full tea flavor. Available in specially selected Black, Green and White Tea, Oolong, Matcha and Pu-Erh variants, the instant teas contain all of the beneficial tea ingredients in their natural ratios.

Food Ingredients News

Sustainable strategy: Firmenich forms partnership with biotechnology firm Blue Marble Biomaterials

19 Jan 2018 --- Firmenich has announced an exclusive partnership with Blue Marble Biomaterials, a US biotechnology company specialized in natural and sustainable ingredients. With this partnership Firmenich gains direct access to key expertise, from biomimicry to non-GM fermentation, enabling the design of innovative and sustainable natural ingredients for the food, beverage and flavor industries.  

Food Ingredients News

Britvic launches new health and sustainability program

16 Jan 2018 --- Soft drinks company Britvic Plc is strengthening its commitment to health with the launch a new sustainable business program which helps consumers make healthier choices, reduces the company’s environmental impact and supports well-being in communities.

Business News

3D food printing: Verstegen becomes the world's first supplier of cartridge fillings

11 Jan 2018 --- byFlow, a Dutch company selling and producing 3D Food Printers, has announced a new collaboration with its new partner Verstegen Spices & Sauces. Verstegen is one of byFlow's partners for the Horecava 2018, which concludes in Amsterdam today, providing 3D food printing Fillings for their 3D food printer, the Focus. The first available flavor of the paste, beetroot and cardamom, was developed in collaboration with Jan Smink, byFlow's ambassador and top chef (winner b’Ocuse D’or, working for 3 star Michelin Restaurant De Librije).

More Articles