How do you prepare extra-delicious pesto? According to the online MIT Technology Review, the secret ingredient is Artificial Intelligence. In fact, some researchers have created an algorithm that can identify and automatically set the best environmental conditions for the growth of perfect delicious basil. To achieve this result, different series of basil plants were grown in a highly controlled environment, in hydroponic units with nutrients and light administered according to preset parameters, and temperature and humidity set by the researchers. Using mass spectrometry and gas chromatography, all plantations were analysed by applying objective and measurable parameters that could be understood by artificial intelligence algorithms.
The goal? To enhance the flavour and taste of the Genoese product that is known all over the world! By correlating the initial environmental conditions with the measurements obtained, the software identified the best variables for the perfect growth of basil, without changing its DNA. What is the researchers’ advice? According to their calculations, exposing plants to light 24 hours a day generates the best taste!
The research group plans to study how the technology might improve the disease-fighting capabilities of plants as well as how different flora may respond to the effects of climate change. However, machine learning is a powerful tool for plant cultivation in protected and controlled environments, while it is less useful in open spaces which are affected by different variables.
This type of studies and analyses will be possible in vertical farms, ensuring the naturalness of the product, shelf life optimization, organoleptic quality and plant health. We will be able to rediscover nature by simply listening to its needs. 255hec srl has been involved in this project for several years, which will soon come to life just a few kilometres away from us. Stay Tuned, look for “planet farms” on Google if you are curious or click here.