MONTREAL, Jan. 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Urban Barns Foods Inc. (OTCQB:URBF) ("Urban Barns"), an innovative food producer dedicated to growing consistent, healthy and fresh vegetables year round using its proprietary Cubic Farming™ method, is pleased to provides its shareholders with an update on its research and development (R&D) activities at McGill University.
The Biomass Production Laboratory at McGill University, with support from Urban Barns, is paving the way for research in urban agriculture. Recent innovations with Light Emitting Diodes (LED) as a plant energy source, has brought about this new area of research. LED lighting systems have the capability to control wavelengths emitted. This allows for research on the impact of different spectral wavelength combinations on plant growth and development. Compared to conventional lighting techniques when growing tomatoes, an arrangement of red and blue lights has proven to increase growth, improve morphology, and suppress plant pathogens.
In February of 2014, Dr. Lefsrud with support from an industry partner, Urban Barns, was awarded a NSERC research grant to develop improved LED lighting systems for their indoor Cubic FarmingTM facility. The Cubic FarmingTM model consists of rotating troughs on which various species are grown, using controlled temperature, humidity, irrigation, and lighting. Results show significantly faster growth than with conventional lighting systems.
"Once implemented at a large scale, this project has the potential to provide high yields of nutritious, sustainable, fresh and locally grown food year-round, regardless of regional climate," Dr. Lefsrud stated.
Research at Macdonald Campus Bioresource Engineering Department has published numerous LED scientific papers, putting the department at the forefront of this quickly evolving industry. This research has observed the concentration of β-carotene and other phytochemicals in the growth cycle of plants, and how plant production of these antioxidants may be increased using LEDs. Specifically, the research has been focused on the impact of red, blue and amber LEDs to increase production and nutritional values. Dr Lefsrud states that "We have been very surprised by the increase in anthocyanin levels in lettuce with small changes in the ratio of red, blue and amber LEDs." However as Dr Lefsrud explains, "Not all plants exhibit the same response to these LED wavelengths and research is continuing in the laboratory."
Benefiting from the Biomass Production Laboratory expertise, the Urban Barns facility in Mirabel, Quebec opened in June 2014 and has begun selling pesticide and GMO-free lettuce to clients in Quebec and Ontario. A Cubic FarmingTM research unit has been assembled on the McGill MacDonald campus to aid in measuring photosynthetic efficiency of horticultural plants and further developing LED technology.
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About Urban Barns Foods Inc.
Urban Barns uses patent pending and proprietary equipment to produce affordable leafy vegetables in a secure and controlled indoor environment. By setting up subsidiary facilities and growing locally, Urban Barns can focus on supplying any community, irrespective of the regional climate, effectively reducing shipping times and related spoilage costs. Urban Barns has the unique ability to scale and cater to the demands of all major communities. The company's commitment to consumers is reflected through its motto, "Purely Fresh, Naturally Tasty, and Completely Healthy".
Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth above may include forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties. Words such as "may", "could", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "plan", and similar expressions are used to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs of management, as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to management. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Urban Barns does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements and cautions investors to consider all other risks and uncertainties, including those disclosed in Urban Barns' filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Source:Urban Barns Foods Inc.