Research useful use of 'corona' surplus horticultural products

Via BioBoost, the Municipality of Westland supports research into alternatives to horticultural products that would otherwise be destroyed or used as compost. Other funders of the research include the province of South Holland and the Dutch Foundation for Innovation in Greenhouse Horticulture (SIGN). The research focuses in particular on plant compounds. These could be used for, for example, colourants, fragrances and flavourings.

Unfortunately, beautiful horticultural products are being destroyed as a result of the corona crisis. That is a shame, because not only beautiful products are lost, but also useful plant compounds. Therefore, a number of parties take the initiative for research into the use of oils, dyes, hydrolates and dried plant parts. The research is carried out by laboratory company VARTA. It makes samples from twenty horticultural products that are offered to entrepreneurs in, for example, cosmetic, fragrance and flavour industries.

The first crops are already being investigated. In addition, contacts with potential customers have been established. Within weeks, the first samples will be ready: they will be shared via BioBoost's online platform:

In the meantime, the first success can be reported. TriStar Industries, will use a dye derived from Celosia plants from a Westland grower, in a hand disinfectant. It is a red-pink dye that can be extracted from pruning waste.

Councillor Albert Abee of Westland: "The corona crisis is a sad occasion. But with this research we want to demonstrate biobased opportunities for horticulture, so that the sector can still reap the benefits of this crisis."