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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Uncool- Flower Delivery’s Future?

Three Japanese companies develop a brave new way to send cut flowers.

imageCold cathode tube

Photo: The Silicon Group

There’s a big surplus of cut flowers in the world. Harder to come by than blossoms are, first, the money to keep the dying blooms beautiful and, second, customers.

Matsushita Electric Works has been tinkering with the survival problem and now announces that, in collaboration with two other companies, it will introduce an ultra-new preservation method to the public next month.

The futuristic flower delivery system replaces refrigeration (a huge cost in transport) with snazzy lighting which the company claims “can keep flowers fresh during delivery even at room temperatures of up to 25C” (that’s 77F). Reporter Aki Tsukioka writes that with the new method “LEDs (DC24V 0.3A, 7.2W) and cold-cathode tubes (DC24V 0.2A, 4.8W), help maintain the quality and freshness of flowers through photosynthesis.” Matsushita claims the light system is cheaper than elaborate cold chains—the cases, trucks, and planes all kept at 10-15C (50-59F) chilling cut flowers until you take possession of them.

Those squeamish about plugging in table lamps should not try to explain this process, and thus far we haven’t found further information about it through Matsushita. The company is likely waiting to spring the details in late October, at the Third International Flower Expo in Tokyo. We’ll hope to provide specifics then. For the moment, this sounds like an exciting development, especially for countries of the Third World, where flower production is booming but transportation costs are hampering success. Too bright to be true? Maybe.

More to come….


Posted by Julie on 09/28 at 10:47 AM
Cut-Flower TradeSciencePermalink