Nottingham Trent University showcases plant nutrient technology at Edible Garden Show

A groundbreaking development in the formulation of natural nanoparticle plant nutrients was showcased at the Edible Garden Show (March 11-13) by scientists from Nottingham Trent University.

A groundbreaking development in the formulation of natural nanoparticle plant nutrients was showcased at the Edible Garden Show (March 11-13) by scientists from Nottingham Trent University. An R&D initiative was announced at the show for the development of a nano-fertiliser range developed in conjunction with Lorbex, the specialist garden products business.

Trials of the formulations on tomatoes, chillies and a broad range of other plants have shown up to 90% additional yield when compared to NPK fertiliser containing a full range of trace elements.

The most significant application for this technology is for the agricultural and pharmaceutical market, but through the university's research and development collaboration with Lorbex, this technology can support a range of nutrient-enhanced feeds suitable for the consumer market.

Only 1% of minerals are typically absorbed into a plant from traditional fertiliser.

Dr Gareth Cave, Nottingham Trent University

Dr Gareth Cave, a scientist in the university's School of Science and Technology, shared his journey to this paradigm shift in plant nutrient technology at the show.

The particular innovation is in the efficient and commercially-viable production of nano-size nutrients which can be absorbed more efficiently by the plant.

Dr Cave said: "Only one per cent of minerals are typically absorbed into a plant from traditional fertiliser. The effect of the nano-process is to significantly enhance the bio-availability of the minerals in the fertiliser."

Helen Broderick of Lorbex added: "We have always prided ourselves on developing technically excellent products for our customers; this development programme will deliver the next generation of fertilisers. Not only will this enhance plant health, but also improve its nutritional value."

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    Dr Gareth Cave is a senior lecturer and Head of Inorganic Chemistry at Nottingham Trent University, with research interests stretching from food security to cancer immunology.

    Under the guidance of Dr Cave the Chemistry team at NTU have synthesised a variety of nanoparticles to be used for agriculture in a variety of formulations. Further research is promising and has shown that nanoparticles can be used for delivery and stability of vitamins and minerals as well as healthy and increased crop production.

    Nutrition is important for the healthy growth of humans, animal and plants. With an increase prevalence of disease being linked to food and drink it is crucial to ensure the appropriate level of nutrition is present in all consumables. The breakthrough in research has highlighted a bespoke delivery system for key minerals to ensure health growth of plants and animals.

    Lorbex
    Lorbex was established 30 years ago by the mother of the Managing Director, Helen Broderick.

    Established as a supplier of bonsai trees to garden centres, Lorbex then developed considerable expertise in house plant care, supplying products including specialist feeds, growing media and accessories. Lorbex counts the leading garden centre groups amongst its loyal customer base.

    Lobex was acquired by b7 Ventures in 2015.  Lorbex benefits from b7's investment strategy for innovation across new developments in the Home and Garden market.  This has enabled Lorbex to extend its range into technical product for the edible grower.

    Contacts
    Lorbex: Helen Broderick, Lorbex Managing Director, via email

Nottingham Trent University showcases plant nutrient technology at Edible Garden Show

Published on 14 March 2016
  • Category: Press; School of Science and Technology

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