14 September 2021 — The EU-funded project is developing vertical gardens for indoor use to reduce the dependence on industrial agriculture and make personalized food more accessible across the continent.
The EIT Food, Personal Nutrition Kitchen (PERNUG) project provides state-of-the-art hydroponic systems for growing a variety of food plants at home.
Consumers are connected to an app that provides the latest scientifically proven information on nutrition and health, allowing them to choose a variety of crops and varieties based on their personal food needs.
The researchers are growing crops with bioavailable, bioactive metals, iron and vitamin B12, which can provide PERNUG kitchen gardeners with food directly, reducing the need for expensive supplements.
Garden for the European Union
The project is led by EIT Food (supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology), Quadram Institute, Studio Cap and KU Leuven.
“Kitchen gardens have different consumer and environmental benefits compared to those found in traditional supply chains,” says Dr. Paul Cruno of the Quadram Institute.
However, they also offer a great opportunity to provide personalized nutrition, and in the PERNUG project they develop more nutritious plant-based kitchen gardens and allow users to choose from carefully prepared and delicious recipes that offer their eyes and sizes. Nutrients such as minerals and vitamins.
Coping with Micro Energy Deficiency
The central objective of PERNUG is to “increase the problem of malnutrition” by project leaders.
Initially, the project focused on iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies. According to a 2019 study, more than half of all EU women in childbearing age do not have the recommended iron intake.
Iron deficiency was enshrined in the new World Health Organization guidelines last year, which seek to prevent serious consequences such as anemia and cognitive development in children.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is also becoming a concern, according to the Quadram Institute. The growing popularity of vegetarian and plant-based diets is consuming meat — the main source of nutrients for the microelement.
Along with the vertical garden, the research team wants to develop recipes that consumers use to ensure the recommended daily allowance throughout the year.
With the open app developed by the PERNUG team, these recipes are tailored to the consumer’s personal dietary needs. This puts the consumer right in the middle of a sustainable food production cycle, the team says, based on the most reliable nutrition information to tailor their products to their personal needs or preferences.
Experimental studies are currently incorporating experimental cooking gardens into families, and feedback will be used to design the final product. The app is designed in conjunction with representative consumers from the early stages, and focus groups are being used to gain insights from families.
Food counters, not miles of food
If widely accepted, project leaders say the gardens will reduce their dependence on industrial agriculture and, as a result, reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Lauri Cap, co-founder of online design agency Studio Cap, argues that consumer awareness of the link between food, health and the environment is growing, leading to increased personal and sustainable food choices.
However, the current dietary values, focus and methods do not help consumers achieve their personal health goals or reduce their environmental impact.
“That is why we are building a smart home-based food system that meets the unique needs of individual consumers: a new system that promotes healthy eating by providing quality pre-quality and supporting food-related disease through personal nutrition.”
Recognizing the need for continued innovation, recognizing that Innova’s market trends are a fitting trend for “2021”, allowing technological advances to allow for more personalized approaches to nutrition and nutrition.
By Louis Gore-Langton
This feature is provided by Food fluids firstSister’s website, Nutrition.
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