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"No botrytis claims anymore"

UV treatment prevents post harvest infections

Post harvest handling of flowers is as important as growing them. Flowers, and in particular roses, are extremely sensitive to fungal, bacterial or pest infections. Especially when flowers are confined in humid boxes, they develop botrytis. Many growers are dealing with this problem and are therefore often receiving claims from their clients. In order to provide a solution to this problem, UV RER / ANEMO was asked to develop an industrial system that decreases the occurrence of these post harvest infections. So, they invented the UV-C Disinfection Tunnel (UVDT) in partnership with Nicolas Pertusier of AGROWAY Consulting & Engineering. This is explained by Caroline Bal of UV RER / ANEMO.

Caroline Bal and Nicolas Pertusier at the IFTEX in Nairobi, Kenya.

No botrytis claims anymore
Two years ago UV RER / ANEMO started working on the UVDT with AGROWAY. They started to test the first disinfection tunnel at a Kenyan rose farm, Subati Flowers. "We have chosen Subati Flowers because they are one of the high quality level flower producers and their management team is always looking for innovative and sustainable solutions to meet their hygiene and quality standards," says Caroline. Since Subati Flowers started to integrate the UVDT in their boxing orders process, they haven't received any claims from clients regarding botrytis or any rotting issues anymore. Besides that, the shelf life of the flowers increased and the use of chemicals for disinfection decreased. They also discovered repellent effects on pests, like spider mites, trips, caterpillars, and more. "We are currently testing these exact effects," says Nicolas Pertusier of AGROWAY Consulting & Engineering. 

How does it work?
"The UVDT ensures that the production and the operators stay in a healthy and high quality environment," says Caroline. But how does it work? "Two fans are integrated on both sides of the UVDT to dry the surface of the bunches. Special UV ray reflecting boards are installed to protect operators on the outside as well as concentrate the UV light treatment to the entire bunch. An option of a misting line is available in case of specific preventive chemicals fumigation. This is required for some export zones. Besides that, the UVDT doesn’t need extra handling and is integrated in the grower's shipment orders process; the trolleys are specially manufactured to suit the grower's operation," explains Nicolas. It is a patented process and UV RER / ANEMO is to only one who offers these tunnels. As well as flowers, this system can be used on other perishables. "Actually, the system is applicable and adaptable to every type of product and process in which there is a need for bacteria, moulds, viruses and fungus removal," says Caroline.

Positive reactions at IFTEX
At the IFTEX, the system was launched. "We attended the IFTEX for the first time and we received a lot of positive feedback from new and existing customers," she says.

UV RER / ANEMO is a French manufacturer of water, air and surface treatment systems using the technologies as UV-C and PCO in various industries. UV RER was established in 1984 and only specialized in water treatments. In 2006 they created their subsidiary, called ANEMO which specializes in air treatments. Today UV RER/ ANEMO offers horticulture customers a complete and adapted solution to address the contamination problems in every area of their production process (water, air and surface treatment).

For more information
Aglika Boneva
Email: [email protected]