Viruses cause headaches to many fruit and vegetable growers. A well-known current example is the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV), which has already claimed quite a number of victims internationally, looking at affected farms in the greenhouse horticulture sector. Although the virus does not pose an immediate danger to humans or animals, its presence can mean that all or part of the crop has to be destroyed. This was reason enough for Limex to do research on the possible effect of washing processes on fighting and removing viruses.
Cucumber mosaic virus as test virus in laboratory research
Because the tomato virus has been classified as requiring quarantine since October 2019, Limex needed to use an alternative virus in the tests. After consulting with Groen Agro Control, an independent professional laboratory that conducted the study together with them, Limex chose the cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV). They then carried out various tests on the effect of different washing processes on removing a virus that was present on harvesting crates. This is because viruses can spread in various ways, including via logistics crates.
Crate washer test based on different parameters
Various factors affect the final result of a washing process. During the research, various parameters were investigated precisely: difference in temperature, time in the washer, detergent/disinfectant, the spray pattern and finally the washing pressure. Would you like to know about the full experimental design and results? Read the detailed description of the earlier study.
These results have now also been found to be particularly valuable for cucumber cultivation, because there is also increasing attention in this segment of greenhouse horticulture to hygiene protocols and preventing the spread of viruses. Here too, prevention is better than a cure!
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