“With a total area of 600 square meters (three times more than last year) and a production calendar that runs from January to June, we grow strawberries using the NFT hydroponic technique and vertical aeroponics. The result is strawberries that can be grown quickly and not only because they are cultivated without artificial fertilizers or external active ingredients, but also because they are free of nickel, histamine and other heavy metals,” said Ivan Santarcangelo, production manager of FruitHydroSinni based in Policoro (Matera), Italy.
“We will reach the peak in the following days, but at the moment we can supply all our customers with only one delivery per week. Our environmentally friendly cultivation technique allows us to achieve extraordinary results, with yields per plant of up to 750/800 grams. We regularly send samples to external laboratories. The data obtained from the analyses showed values close to 0.001% for zinc, aluminum, nickel, chromium and histamine. Our strawberries not only have a long shelf-life and are uniform in size, but also have a homogeneous color and an exceptional brix degree.”
Food biologist Alessia Affuso talked about the benefits of this method of cultivation. “Soilless cultivation, an important element for sustainable agriculture, allows the cultivation of safe food. This is true not only for those who need to follow a diet with reduced nickel content, but for the population in general. Normally, food can become contaminated with pathogens or chemicals at any point in the food supply chain. In hydroponic systems, on the other hand, the water supplied is constantly controlled and monitored before it goes to the plants’ root systems.”
“Hydroponic technology has helped answer the problems associated with a lack of vitamins, plant fibers, carbohydrates and minerals. Studies show that crops grown in hydroponics are important sources of minerals and thus the growing systems produce better quality and safer crops.”