LED light affects the flavor of basil

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Basil’s intense flavor and fragrance are what sustain its popularity among growers and consumers. These come from phenolic compounds such as rosmarinic, caffeic and chicoric acids among others, however it has been unclear how LED light influences the development of these. Democritus University of Thrace (Greece) together with Wageningen University (Netherlands) conducted a study on the effects of different wide, continuous LED light spectra on the development of these compounds. The treatment spectra used were:

  • high red and high red:far red (AP673L spectrum by Valoya)
  • high red and low red:far red (G2 spectrum by Valoya)
  • moderate blue and red and low red:far red (AP67 spectrum by Valoya)
  • high blue and green, high red:far red and 1% ultraviolet (NS1 spectrum by Valoya)

Conventional white fluorescent lights were used as control.



Basil seedlings were exposed to control and treatment light spectra for 28 days in an environmentally controlled growth chamber. After this period, Total Phenolic Content (TPC) was measured by using the Folin-Ciocalteau colorimetric assay with gallic acid as calibration standard, by a UV-vis spectrophotometer. Of all the used spectra, NS1 resulted in highest TPC, followed by AP673L, AP67, G2 and with the control in the last place, significantly lower than any of the treatment lights. The NS1 spectrum produced a 3,8 times higher total phenolic content than the control light.


Figure 1 (credit: Scientia Horticulturae) – Development of TPC (total phenolic content) under different light spectra

To read the entire study, please click here.

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The blog posts are written by Valoya’s biologists and engineers. All of the content is original and is aimed at helping growers and researchers get a better understanding of the LED grow light technology.


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