October 1,2018. As retailers and governments raise the standards for food contamination with pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria, and at the same time, restrict the level of acceptable residue (“MRL”) the producers of food are caught in the middle. These ever stricter limits, coming from both sides, in fact result in food spillage. Undesirable for all members of the distribution channels for fresh flowers and fresh produce alike.
In 2005, CleanLight of The Netherlands developed a method for using of low level germicidal UV for the processing of food. Growers and processors in Europe, East Africa, and the Americas are now working with this technology. Diseases that are eliminated include “Honeydew Mould, Botrytis, Fusarium, Salmonella, Listeria, and so on.
Arne Aiking of CleanLight in The Netherlands : “One of the advantages is that the required exposure time is roughly 2 seconds. That means that this disinfection treatment does not interfere with the regular logistical process at farms and packing plants. The other advantage is that this exposure is so short that even fragile products such as roses or strawberries are not damaged in any way shape or form by this miniscule amount of UV light”.
David Symanzig who works for CleanLight with large producers in Latin America adds: “We always enjoy working with manufacturers of sorting and packing equipment; Companies such as Aweta, Schouten, Havatec, Bercomex, and Jamafa incorporate our technology into their equipment. In the case of edible crops such tomatoes, soft fruit, cucumbers, potatoes, apples, peppers, etc we add a feature called “coating” in order to meet HACCP requirements with regards to preventing the risk of glass chards”.
Aiking adds one more comment: “This is a dry technology. There are no liquids involved. For most producers that is a real blessing indeed, especially if they have a product that they would rather not make wet during the sorting or packing process. Or indeed, in case of a drying process.”
This YouTube channel features several succesful applications of CleanLight in the post-harvest stage: