Scientists at UC Riverside and the University of Delaware claim that they have found a way to cross one of the seemingly impossible hindrances by manipulating plants to grow in complete darkness, earlier this week. A university press release says the team used a two-step process to convert carbon dioxide, electricity, and water into acetate. Plants used acetate and were able to grow in the dark.
The statement to the press further said that combined with solar panels to generate electricity, this method of food production would be more than 18 times as effective as the natural process. They also claim that the natural process uses only 1 percent of the energy found in sunlight alone. The team’s research was published Thursday in the journal Nature Food.
“We sought to identify a new way of producing food that could break through the limits normally imposed by biological photosynthesis,” the corresponding author Robert Jinkerson said in the statement.
The photos reveal that the fruit grown looked as real as a naturally grown food item. However, it is not yet determined if the product is safe to eat. Press photo shows precious little green shootlings pushing up out of laboratory soil, but it remains to be seen if this growth method can result in a sustainable or worthwhile amount of produce.
Scientists are optimistic about its future applications.