Vegetable production begins in Toshiba Clean Room Farm

Tuesday, 30 September, 2014

Vegetable production has begun at the Toshiba Clean Room Farm Yokosuka, with the first crop shipment scheduled for late October.

The company aims to produce an annual output of three million bags of leaf lettuce, baby leaf greens, spinach, mizuna and herbs, with an annual sales target of 300 million yen.

The closed-type plant factory uses state-of-the-art technology to raise crops and reportedly operates under almost aseptic conditions, with vegetables carrying about 1/1000th of the level of germs of vegetables grown in soil.

Plant factories such as Toshiba’s Clean Room Farm grow vegetables in close-to-sterile conditions in virtually germ-free cleanrooms. By minimising the entry of germs, the potential for damage to the plants is minimised and the products’ shelf life is also reportedly considerably extended.

The factory is equipped with a range of technologies, including:

  • fluorescent lighting with an output wavelength optimised for vegetable growth
  • air-conditioning systems that maintain constant temperature and moisture level
  • remote monitoring systems to track growth
  • sterilisation systems for packing materials

Toshiba is considering constructing a larger plant factory outside Japan to increase sales in the new business. It will promote the products to supermarkets, convenience stores, delicatessens and restaurants.

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