OptiBoost Method: Insights from Katarzyna Dymek

Katarzyna “Kasia” Dymek is one of the great minds behind the OptiBoost method for treating cut flowers and cuttings.  How does the OptiBoost technology benefit the flower industry? What is Vacuum infusion and how do you move from spinach to roses in your research?  We got all the answers after our talk with Kasia!

From spinach and aragula to roses and eucalyptus, the road leading up to the now-patented OptiBoost method has gone through plenty of plants and veggies.


“I did not have much interest in flowers prior to this work”, Kasia admits and continues.

“I am a food technologist and started research on fruits and vegetables and had no plans on working with flowers originally.” 

We will get to how Kasia ended up boosting cut flowers, but first, let us lay out the basis of the OptiBoost method:

OptiBoost technology is based on Vacuum Infusion (VI). It is a technique with which external liquids can be introduced into porous structures such as plant tissue. The tissue is immersed in the liquid and subjected to a two-phase pressure change. The liquid infused into the material may have different properties, and VI can thus be used to change the composition of plant tissues.

Katarzyna Dymek, Process Development Director

From Spinach to Roses

”The leap from spinach to roses wasn’t too great” she says, as her interest is the actual physiology of plants and biology in general. Kasia was around when the ”discovery” of the treatment for flowers was made. Underlining that vacuum infusion isn’t a new method, but rather how it is applied.

”I was at the university in Lund, working on my PhD. We were investigating different methods to improve final qualities of fragile plant food products, particularly rucola and spinach. Trying to find a way to improve quality after freezing of veggies and fruits.”

The team discovered that Vacuum infusion in combination with PEF (pulsed electric fields) technology turned out to have promising effects and based on this the company OptiFreeze was formed. 

OptiBoost Freja for the treatment of cut flowers

Kasia started working in the company after finishing her studies, it was then that a Master student working alongside her suggested to try vacuum infusion on other plant material.

“I thought, why not? It makes sense that the plant would use the infused nutrients. So, we started some tests with cuttings, cut flowers, mainly tulips. It wasn’t an instant success, but we saw some really promising effects and continued the work.”

The results on cut flowers got a big interest right away and attracted attention from the industry, looking back, Kasia labels the steps into the cut flower segment as “brilliant”.

“It is brilliant! It is a great niche and an industry with a great need for innovation and technology. We can add a lot of value and help solve big issues.”

Kasia Dymek (in the middle) with the team at customer site in Ecuador

A flower is a flower - right?

Today she is the R & D manager of the OptiBoost method, responsible for developing the treatment, from the lab to securing successful implementation at customer sites.

“Now I love flowers! I work with an excellent team and together we find new protocols and treatments tailored for specific attributes, like increased vase life, better survival during transportation, or fighting Botrytis.”

With the extensive testing, evaluations, and data collected, Kasia is certain that OptiCept is close to having the answers. To guarantee an exact number of days of extended vase life is impossible, there are too many factors playing in when it comes to the lifetime of a cut flower. Factors on the farm such as the soil, weather, temperature, and harvesting affect the flower. Then transportation conditions, diseases, and postharvest handling are a lot to add to the calculation. However, with an OptiBoosted flower, you will know that the flowers have the best conditions possible as they aim to survive and fight all these external threats.

What is next in cut flowers?

OptiCept decided to focus on roses in the cut flowers segment. It is the most popular flower and the team saw great effects. But OptiBoost has been and is evaluated for many other flowers in the vase life test center in Lund and at customers.

“We have done both tests in our own facilities and on customer sites. Alstroemerias and Peonies that I see huge potential in. We are also going to investigate Tulips again. With the knowledge we gained, I believe we can have a good effect.”

The plan is to expand the portfolio and include more types of flowers.

Treat Cuttings with the OptiBoost Method

The OptiBoost method was initially evaluated for ornamental cuttings, with good indicative results. But with the great results shown on roses, ornamentals were paused to focus on roses.

“We will return to ornamental cuttings soon, it is a very interesting segment that I see great potential in.”

Parallel to the development of the cut flowers application, another one was developed focused on the treatment of forest cuttings. The application was trialed and saw a great impact on eucalyptus cuttings, increasing survival rate and rooting. At the moment three pilots are set up with customers in South America, and so far, everything is looking very promising.

Connect with us!

Want to explore the possibilities with OptiBoost for your business? Fill out the form below and connect with us.

Like this article?

More Insights