RZTO results important for organic artificial meat replacement industry

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Dec 17, 2019, in Technology

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited (ASX:ROO) has provided a promising report on the first stage Proof of Concept (POC) study being conducted on the effects of its patented Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) technology on protein-based model plants.

The roots of two protein-based model peas and beans plants were cooled by deploying RZTO.

Observations at the end of the summer growing cycle at Roots’ research and development facility in Bet Halevi, Israel, resulted in 57% to 67% more pods yield per plant for both the peas and beans when compared with uncooled plants.

Plant roots were cooled by the vertical RZTO ‘stab’, and horizontally by RZTO architecture respectively.

While protein percentage was slightly affected, total pods protein content increased by 77% and 55% in peas and beans respectively in cooled plants, when compared to uncooled plants.

Roots is encouraged by these results as the POC demonstrated that RZTO use resulted in weight increase per plant and more pods being generated per plant.

Benefits for commercial growers

The results achieved through the deployment of RZTO could have significant benefits if employed by growers in a commercial environment.

The protocol of the POC conducted at Roots’ facility was organic and used no fertiliser or other chemicals.

The company believes that this initiative will be of particular interest to the plant-based meat industry.

Roots is currently planting another cycle of beans and peas for the second stage of the POC growing cycle in an open field.

During this cycle, the plants will be heated using Roots’ technology throughout the coming winter.

The graph below illustrates that while outside measured temperatures peaked at more than 30 degrees, uncooled root zones peaked at 25 degrees, and cooled roots zones were never more than 19 degrees.

In discussing these promising developments, Roots chief executive Dr. Sharon Devir highlighted the positive implications for Roots participation in the high-end, organic artificial meat replacement industry in saying, “We are very encouraged by the results from this POC, conducted at our experimental farm, without the use of fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides using our proprietary RZTO technology.

‘’The results may support our hypothesis that by cooling roots using RZTO, the plant will increase the total pods yield and therefore, increase protein content.

‘’This is very promising for Roots as it pursues opportunities in the high end, organic artificial meat replacement industry which relies on industrially grown, high protein crops with heavy use of herbicides and pesticides.

‘’Our organic-based protein crops, free of chemicals, are thus likely to have broad appeal.

“The second stage of this important POC commences next month and we look forward to reporting on progress.

‘’This is indeed another positive development for the growing appeal of RZTO.’’

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