New markets and innovations

New markets and innovations

The experts of business unit Greenhouse Horticulture of Wageningen University & Research are service providers on flavour and health of vegetables and fruits. We do contract research for all partners in the horticultural chain. Our knowledge can help you to add value to your products. We think of flavour as a carrier for health.

Using new knowledge, we develop tools that are useful to companies for further development and marketing of better tasting and healthier products. Our knowledge and experience can help you to increase the content of healthy ingredients in your products. This may help you to develop distinctive products.

Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables


“Flavour as a Carrier for Health” is the slogan of “Tasty Marketing”, a research project on consumer oriented product development of fruits and vegetables. The goal is to increase the consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables. In a consortium with seventeen business partners tools have been developed that allow for the marketing of tasty and healthy products with added value. In collaboration with Wageningen Economic Research, various target groups of consumers have been identified.

This project is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) supported by the Dutch ministry of LNV. The project was completed at the end of 2016.

Research results

The outcomes of the project were presented at the public meeting 'Desires of Consumers in the Picture', on January 18, 2018 in Bleiswijk. In addition, fact sheets have been published in which the results are clearly presented.


Healthy compounds in fruit and vegetables

System to increase vitamin C in tomato during cultivation.
System to increase vitamin C in tomato during cultivation.

Consumers are willing to pay more for healthy products

Many food products are marketed as “healthy” because they are ‘rich in Vitamin C’ or ‘a source of antioxidants’. Research shows that two thirds of the consumers are willing to pay a premium for healthy products. So there are great opportunities for adding value to fruits and vegetables, which contain these healthy compounds by nature. Our knowledge and expertise may help you to increase and secure levels of health related compounds in your fruits and vegetables.

Can healthy compounds be increased?

The business unit Greenhouse Horticulture studies, in close collaboration with private companies, how the levels of healthy compounds can be increased in fruits and vegetables. Next to choosing the right varieties, the cultivation method also may have a great influence. We showed that through the usage of LEDs the level of vitamin C in tomato can be doubled. Also the vitamine C level in strawberry, as wel as the flavour and production, could be increased by the application of additional LED lighting.

Measurements in our labs

We can carry out various relevant instrumental measurements on your products, such as refraction (Brix value), titratable acid content, vitamin C content and the ORAC value (a measure of the total amount of antioxidants). Other measurements are also possible, whether or not in collaboration with our specialized laboratories in Wageningen. In this way we can help you to add value to your products.

New concept: Pepper – People, Planet, Profit


Collaborating for distinctive varieties

In a pilot project with several private companies and the Ministry of economic affairs, we aimed at developing a distinctive pepper which scores high on People, Planet and Profit. Three disciplines (e.g. flavour, cultivation and marketing research) were integrated in this pilot. Together with the private companies, twelve distinctive varieties of peppers were selected for this study. Our consumer panel screened the flavour and visual appearance. A focus group described several product associations and generated different suggestions for preparation. We also investigated the resistance to aphids, the vitamin C content and the amount of antioxidants present. We developed three candidate concepts and experimented with these concepts in shops. The results were shared with a group of innovative pepper growers.