March 21 2019  |  Airline & Terminal News

Farm-fresh produce on the menu for Singapore Airlines

By Rachel Debling

AeroFarms grows greens without the use of soil or sunlight

Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced today it has established a "Farm-to-Plane" partnership with indoor vertical farming company AeroFarms. Beginning in September 2019, passengers on flights from Newark to Singapore will benefit from a customized blend of freshly grown produce.

Antony McNeil, director of food and beverage for Singapore Airlines, said: “Imagine boarding a plane and enjoying a salad harvested only a few hours before takeoff - literally the world’s freshest airline food. The only way to get fresher greens in flight is to pick them from your own garden.”

AeroFarms has transformed an abandoned steel mill near Newark International Airport into a 1-acre indoor vertical farm which will grow produce without the aid of soil, pesticides or sunlight. Each year, the farm will yield the equivalent of 390 acres of greens that can be harvested up to 30 times, no matter the season.

According to a release from SIA, conventional farms harvest salad greens days or weeks before being served, while its Farm-To-Plane initiative will serve greens picked within 24 hours of departure from Newark, less than five hours away from the airport.

The program is planned to be stretched throughout SIA's global network in the future.

How It Works

The greens will be grown “aeroponically," meaning that seeds are grown indoors on a specialty growing cloth under LED lights instead of in soil. The roots are misted with water and nutrients and kept under strict temperature and humidity controls. The plants' nutritional value and flavor can be adjusted with lighting and the formula used.

Plants typically grow from seeds to fully mature produce in as little as a few days, says SIA, using 95% less water and a fraction of the fertilizers used in conventional farming. AeroFarms’ produce is also grown without pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

The Menu

Later this year, passengers traveling in Business and Premium Economy Class on SQ21 flights from Newark to Singapore will be offered a selection of meals made using these vertical farm-grown greens, such as:

Soy Poached Chicken with pickled ginger vinaigrette and zucchini ribbons, served with sweet potato roesti, soy beans and AeroFarms baby pak choi

The Garden Green, including poached asparagus, broccolini and avocado with shaved fennel and flaked hot smoked salmon, an AeroFarms medley of baby ruby streaks, watercress and arugula with lemon vinaigrette

Heirloom Tomato Cevich with baby burrata, cured ham and palm hearts, plus AeroFarms arugula with spiced tomato dressing

A wide shot of AeroFarms' indoor vertical farming facilities

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