How vacuum impregnation technology can bring advantages to the flower industry

The incorporation of new technology in the flower industry can help to improve the quality of flowers, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and make flower production more sustainable. The OptiBoost system implements a treatment that has the potential to assist in all areas.

Technology developments in the flower industry

The flower industry has seen some technological development in recent years. New technologies are being used to improve efficiency, quality, and sustainability in flower production.

This includes automation technologies such as robotics and computerization, precision agriculture, greenhouses, controlled environment agriculture, and more.

Certainly, the incorporation of new technology in the flower industry often helps to improve the efficiency, quality, and sustainability of flower production, while also improving logistics and supply chain management. However, much can still be improved and OptiBoost is a technology with the potential to improve business for flower companies within all the above-mentioned areas. Optiboost technology is a combination of Vacuum Infusion and Nano Technology.

Read more about the impact of OptiBoost on Swedish flower wholesaler A.P.H >

Combining Vacuum infusion and nano technology to boost the flower industry

OptiBoost technology is based on Vacuum Infusion (or Vacuum Impregnation) (VI). It is a technique with which external liquids can be introduced into porous structures such as plant tissue. This process helps to prolong the vase life of cut flowers by reducing water loss and slowing down the aging process.

The flowers are placed in a treatment chamber and exposed to a vacuum. A vacuum is a space that has had most of its air removed, creating a low-pressure environment. In a vacuum, the air molecules have been removed, so there is no longer any air resistance or drag.

The OptiBoost process is done under vacuum pressure to remove air and create a low-pressure environment. In other words, the air is sucked out and replaced with a nutrient solution. By creating a partial vacuum the solution can penetrate the stem more efficiently.

Vacuum Infusion Process - Cut Flowers - OptiBoost
Cut flowers are placed in a treatment chamber and exposed to a vacuum allowing the liquid to intracellular space (of stem and leaves) – the plant is hydrated (15-20% more weight) and strengthened at the same time.

Nutrient solution based on third generation nanotechnology

In theory, any liquid could be impregnated in the cut flower’s tissue. But just any liquid would not achieve the results gained with OptiBoost.

One factor of the extreme efficiency of the Optiboost treatment is the functionalized nutrient solution

The nutrient solution is based on third-generation nanotechnology and is designed to release the optimal amount of nutrients. Our nutrient solution is packed with tiny silica (sand) particles, which are nano-sized particles extremely efficient in giving a ride to nutrients.

Silica is also in itself an essential nutrient that strengthens the cell walls and makes the flower more resistant and strong.

Billions of Nano-Silica particles are used as carriers of nutrition elements making the solution much faster and more effective compared to regular holding solutions.

The solution is made out of de-ionized water – which is important for the highest uniformity and effect. The stable water quality during the OptiBoost treatment allows for guaranteed bacteria- and virus-free water which is injected into the cut flowers.

Once the solution is vacuumed into the flower, it will stick to the capillaries and stem of the plant and release nutrients throughout the lifetime of the flower.

The patented solution makes the nutrients bioavailable for the flower.

The Vacuum infusion Process

The process mentioned above might be easier to understand by looking at the video below.

This video shows what goes on ”behind the scenes” as the flowers are boosted.

The OptiBoost for cut flowers system

The OptiBoost application for cut flowers is called CF1.

The system consists of one main unit and three chambers. A system of three chambers and one main unit can treat up to 40.000 roses/hour. The flowers are placed inside a chamber, and as the process begins in one chamber the next one is loaded. One treatment takes no more than 36 seconds.

The system can be implemented for the use of flower growers, wholesalers, and retailers to create the optimal cut flower experience.  

To conclude, two main reasons ensure the efficiency of the process.

  1. The control and optimization of the vacuum, and the right pressure ensure optimal intake of the nutrient solution.
  2. The nutrient solution itself is based on third-generation nanotechnology and is designed to release the optimal amount of nutrients.
OptiBoost for cut flowers - Vacuum impregnation system
OptiBoost for cut flowers system - One control unit and three treatment chambers

The benefits of the OptiBoost vacuum impregnation technology

To summarize – new technology often pushes industries to the next level. OptiBoost contributes to a more efficient and sustainable flower industry.

Current challenges for the flower industry like:

  • Waste: Approx. 30-50 billion cut flowers are produced yearly whereas about 15-25% is waste never reaching the consumer
  • Short vase-life
  • Long-haul and costly transports
  • Quality (uneven opening rate, colors, freshness)

These are all issues that OptiBoost can contribute to solving. Adding value for the entire chain.

Benefits for Growers

  • Boosts quality
  • Increased shelf life for more efficient transportation
  • Lower transport costs and waste

Benefits for Wholesalers

  • Add services (treating roses for retail)
  • Increase the value of their role in the value chain

Benefits for Retailers

  • A better-looking product
  • A higher price
  • Longer shelf life in the shop
  • Less waste

Ultimately,  the Consumer will enjoy a better product with more quality and a longer vase life.

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