By being exported, flowers travel a lot of kilometers. During their journey from grower to plane and beyond, you want to keep their quality as high as possible. In 2001 Chilean company Fosfoquim introduced their Hord Diluphos System. This equipment dilutes hydrogen phosphine, called F-Gas with the air. This way they clean the products of pests, it does not pollute the environment and does not leave toxic traces in the treated foods, it is the replacement of methyl bromide for treatments against quarantine important pests in the world. It is used in the export of fruit, but now they are also focusing on the flower industry.
From rigth to left: Christian Murgeytio, Green Control Manager. Alex Bustos, Green Control President. Rigoberto Villavicencio, Green Control Technical Director.
How does it work? “The gas is applied by specialized equipment and in the case of flowers in cold hermetic chambers at the airport, to prepare them for export”, explains Alex Bustos Guerra of GreenControl FQM, who is representing Fosfoquim. “The product controls practically all insects and spider mites. The dose and time of exposure depend on the insect, but it can vary between 12 and 48 hours.
Upper picture: Refrigerated hermetic movil Chamber used in perishables. Bottom left: Cool room adapted (hermetic) for the fumigation in perishables, as you can see the product is packed, ready for export. Bottom right: The machine with the FGas® used for the fumigation.
What is the effect of the treatment to the flowers, you may ask. “We have done several trials with Ecuadorian flowers in Chile. We applied 1200 ppm for 24 hours. The result is that we found no phytotoxicity, no plant-damaging properties on the flowers. The flowers were sent by plane from Quito to Santiago de Chile. They went through the normal process of any other flower and regarding the vase life; after 10 days no adverse symptoms were seen. After 20 days, the roses were still in good condition, so we deduced that the product does improve life in vases, just as we know in fruits.”
“We can apply our F-Gas® at 0 centigrade, so we don’t have to break the cold chain. We found out by applying the product to most commercial flowers, that it doesn’t burn the flower or chances color.”
Future plans – focus on flowers
Fosfoquim invented the system in 2001, and we have introduced the technology gradually in several countries until today. Currently they supply to Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, New Zealand, Australia and California, USA. And soon they will expand their business to Ecuador, where they will focus on the agro-export market, flower industry included. According to Alex, Expoflores is interested in buying the hermetic cold chambers to provide the service of pest control to the Ecuadorian floriculture. It is a good opportunity for the flower industry of Ecuador to strengthen markets of high phytosanitary demand in the world, markets of good prices and that appreciate the quality of the Ecuadorian flower, such as Australia and Japan. In the next years, we will be present in Colombia, Peru, Brazil, we would like to expand to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean countries (OIRSA zone).