Policy / Systems / Technology

April 15, 2011


Joint Research Develops Hydroponic System to Grow Licorice

Keywords: Environmental Technology Food Non-manufacturing industry University / Research institute 

Kajima Corp., the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, and Chiba University announced on October 28, 2010, that they had succeeded in jointly developing the nation's first hydroponic system to grow licorice.

Licorice, a medicinal plant having high concentrations of glycyrrhizin in its roots, is widely used as an ingredient in herbal medicine, additives and cosmetics. With existing hydroponic methods, the plant grows many fine rootlets instead of thick roots. To cope with this problem, this hydroponic method was developed using a cultivation unit to enlarge roots by artificially adding adequate pressure on the plant. Researchers are currently testing for optimal sunlight and temperature conditions to accelerate plant growth.

The system enables the stable harvest of licorice with uniform quality and eliminates the risk of residual pesticides, as well as requiring shorter growth periods at plant factories. The licorice can be harvested in about 12 to 18 months, while plants cultivated in a trial farm field took about four years.

Researchers expect the application of this system to other medicinal plants that have high concentrations of medicinal compounds in roots, and intend to conduct feasibility studies on economic viability.

Sandwich Chain Opens World's First Shop with Onsite Lettuce Factory (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2011/04/15 06:00:15 AM



Kajima Corp. official website
the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation official website
Chiba University official website