Sweeter and the most delicious: we are making researches of strawberry

iFarm agronomists in cooperation with "Chromatography" Research and Education Centre of Novosibirsk State University (NSU) and Institute for Soil Science and Agrochemistry of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences made analysis of chemical composition of Turkish strawberry, purchased in a store and strawberry, grown on iFarm vertical farm to find out the sweetest one and to continue improving the technologies.

Since March 2019 strawberry on iFarm vertical farms were cultivated using 4 ways: aeroponics (1), low-volume hydroponics with drip irrigation on coconut substrate (2) and on coconut mats (3) and low-volume hydroponics with watering using the method of periodic flooding (4). For the research we used several berries from each bushes and purchased Turkish berries in a store.

Strawberry contains 9 major types of sugar. Among them are sucrose, glucose, fructose, sorbitol, xylose, maltose, galactose, raffinose and lactose. These sugars are simple carbohydrates, which mean they are the main suppliers of energy to the human body. Although the energy coefficient of sugars is lower than that of fats, a man daily eat large amount of carbohydrates and gets 50-60% of the required calories with them.
We did a research of three main sugars (sucrose, fructose and glucose), as their degree of sweetness is higher than that of all the others. The research was made using the method of high performance liquid chromatography, which separates complex mixtures of substances and is used in analytical chemistry to determine the concentration of organic substances in various objects.
We found, that berries from iFarm vertical farms, especially grown using aeroponics have a higher sweetness index and contains more sucrose and fructose than berries bought in Novosibirsk store.
According to Natalya Smirnova, PhD, senior science researcher, Institute for Soil Science and Agrochemistry of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, iFarm team agreed that strawberries grown using aeroponics is the sweetest. But taste is subjective criterion. In order to make the research objective we calculated the sweetness index.

The sweetness index calculation: SI = 1,0×CSucrose + 0,76×CGlucose + 1,5×CFructose

According to scientific researches strawberry contains 59 mg/100 g of ascorbic acid (Vitamin С). Our research has shown that iFarm berries contain much more vitamin C than berries imported from Turkey. Strawberries grown using aeroponics became the record holder for the content of ascorbic acid, little bit less has strawberries grown using low-volume hydroponics.
Vitamin C has positive effect on the nervous system and on brain, participates in blood renewal processes, stimulates endocrine glands, helps to fight with viruses and prevents of catching cold.

Berries cultivated using iFarm technology has no harmful and toxic substances. The quality certificate issued by the Testing Centre for assessing the quality of products and services of Mendeleev Novosibirsk Chemical and Technological College confirms this. At the same time iFarm strawberries contains all the chemical elements (potassium, calcium, magnesium etc.) which are necessary for balanced human nutrition.
iFarm team is planning the similar researches of vegetables and greens. Then to extend the number of studied parameters, to improve technologies and get tasty and healthy high quality produce.