In Finland, the VTT Technical Research Centre has developed a plant cell incubator for home use that yields a harvest within a week. Using the 3D-printed CellPod prototype, VTT has used cells from its own culture collection to grow Arctic bramble cells, cloudberry cells and stone bramble cells.
The CellPod concept is based on growing undifferentiated cells of a plant rather than a whole plant. These cells contain the plant’s entire genetic potential, so they are capable of producing the same healthy compounds – such as antioxidants and vitamins – as the whole plant. The nutritional value of a cloudberry cell culture, for example, is similar to or even better than that of the berry itself. However, the taste still needs development: at the moment, it is very mild and neutral.
The current appliance resembles a design lamp and is ideal for keeping on a kitchen table. Researchers are collaborating with consumers to develop different product ideas for commercialization.