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Intra Hydrocare an essential part of the hygienic strategy in greenhouses

Authors C. Vulders Regulatory manager Harm Vogels Account manager

Date 27 July 2013

Intracare bv Voltaweg 4

5466 AZ Veghel The Netherlands

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Introduction

Background

Many chemicals are used to control the level of microbiological contamination in greenhouses. The amounts of biocides used is still increasing. This is the result of a growing number of monocultures in greenhouses that are built as large production facilities in order to be competitive and cost effective. The risk of diseases which are rapidly spreading through these greenhouses is very imminent. A continuous awareness and a vigilant hygienic strategy is therefore very important.

Bacteria, fungi and viruses are known plant pathogens causing different diseases. Examples of harmfull bacteria found in horticulture are the Agrobacterium species, Xanthomonas, Pseudomonas and Clavibacter, where fungi as Pythium and Phytophthora are known to cause root rot and foot rot, or Fusarium that forms spores which are difficult to eliminate. Examples of viruses found in horticulture are the Pepino mosaic virus tomato, cucumber mosaic virus. Note that every type of micro-organism is unique, has its own structure and working mechanism and therefore also a different susceptibility to specific types of biocides. For this reason the type of biocide to use should be a balanced choice based on the type of problems that are occurring. Besides the type of biocide, also the concentration, contact time, temperature and water quality are parameters of great importance. Every biocide has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore there are this many biocides on the market.

In the recent years, the awareness of risks in food safety, the environmental and human health is increasing. Regulatory rules and regulations to control these risks are therefore also expanding. As a result the Biocidal Product Directive/Regulation is now enforced in Europe where biocidal products are extensively evaluated on efficacy, risk profile and of course the amount of residues of the product where used (e.g. on plants, equipment or environment). Lately there has been a drive to develop biocidal products based on mechanisms seen in nature, e.g. mechanisms that are actually seen in living plants. One of such natural biocides would be hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a compound that is used in nature by certain plants to prevent infection of pathogenic bacteria. This would be good base for a more natural biocidal product.

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Hydrogen peroxide

In 1977 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized hydrogen peroxide as the first antimicrobial pesticide (disinfectant), since then it is registered for the use on ornamental plants and in fruits and vegetables. It is also registered for the use on stored food. Today, hydrogen peroxide is used extensively in several of applications in horticulture during different stages of production: Disinfection of irrigation. Disinfection of hydroponic nutrient solution. Sanitizing compost and soil. Disinfection seeds and killing seed borne pathogens. The production facility, greenhouses, nursery, etc, surfaces, tools equipment utensils and trays.

Intra Hydrocare

Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizing agent that is however inherently unstable. In the biocidal product Intra Hydrocare, hydrogen peroxide is used as an active ingredient and it is stabilized with silver. The combination of silver and hydrogen peroxide is also excellent to disrupt the functions of enzymes in micro-organisms. The complete cell, including the DNA, is destroyed due to oxidation when in contact with hydrogen peroxide.

After the reaction of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 ) it decomposes to water (H2O) and oxygen (O2), which are both natural and harmless substances. This is next to great efficacy also one of the advantages of Intra Hydrocare.

Fogging Since the late 1960s, disinfectants have been applied via thermo-kinetic nebulization, or Thermal fogging, with great success. Thermal foggers rapidly atomize spray solutions via a combination of heat and kinetic energy. The fog that is generated by a Pulsfog has all-round disinfecting property, it has contact with pathogens in the air and thus can kill them, it decontaminate equipment and also disinfect surfaces. Intra Hydrocare can be used in a fogger.

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Figure 1. The Pulsfogger and a diagram of the thermo fogger and the relating temperatures.

Chemical solutions are pumped from a tank that has been slightly pressurized by the intake. The solution is injected via these nozzles into the hot, high velocity exhaust. The spray is atomized into droplets sized as small as 1-50 m (micron).

Figure 2. Definition of droplet size

Atomization occurs due to both thermal and kinetic energy at the point of injection. The heat gasifies a portion of the solution, which is condensed as it exits the barrel of the machine when combined with cooler entrained air and the air outside the barrel. The majority of the solution is shattered by the kinetic energy of the exhaust velocity. Finally this energy propels the fog, with the largest machines, up to 300 feet from the operator. The result is that chemical solutions can be easily and rapidly applied to large areas. Not only are surfaces contacted, but the fog remains in the air for long periods of time, contacting airborne insects and pathogens.

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Measuring treatment efficacy with the Clean Trace device

The Clean Trace is a device which gives an indication of all living cells present in a sample. This includes the complete collection of bacteria, yeasts, fungi, but also plants or human / animal cells from bodily fluids are living cells. The device measures Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), a well-known energy-rich substance which is present in all living organisms. ATP is the main energy carrier to transport energy to cells for metabolic processes. Since it is present in all living organisms, it can function as an indicator for living cells.

The Clean Trace is a useful tool to detect contaminated water and surfaces. In this case high values would be measured. Low values would on the other hand demonstrate efficacy of a cleaning/disinfecting treatment.

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Experimental
Description of test

The efficacy of Intra Hydrocare, applied with a thermal fogger, is tested in a greenhouse in the Netherlands. The efficacy was determined with the Clean Trace device. Details of the experiment can be found below.

Location: City Country Surface Height Concentration Type of disinfection Date of disinfection Concentration

Tielebeek BV Someren the Netherlands 45.000 m 5m 3% Intra Hydrocare Thermo fogging 19 June 2013 during two hours 4,5 ha is 100 liter Hydrocare.
2

On different locations the URL value was measured by the Clean Trace measuring device before the disinfection started.

Experimental scheme:

Date 19-06-2013 19-06-2013 20-06-2013 20-06-2013 20-06-2013

Action ATP measurement on different places before disinfection. 21.00 23.00 h disinfection with Hydrocare. 03.00 opening window to recirculate and ventilate the air. 06.00 h planting new crop. 06.00 measurement of ATP after disinfection.

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Results
The results of the measurement are summarized in the table below.

RLU before Swab 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Position Row 325 rail tube front Row 325 water system middle Row 325 substrate back Row 325 window back Row 316 window back Row 316 rail tube back Row 316 substrate middle Row 316 drainage front Row 419 substrate front Row 419 rail tube middle Row 419 drainage back Row 419 window back Row 432 window back Row 432 substrate back Row 432 drainage middle Row 432 rail tube front Row 406 drainage front Row 406 substrate middle Row 406 rail tube back Row 406 window back Row 411 window back Row 411 substrate back Row 411 rail tube middle Row 411 drainage front Row 488 substrate front Row 488 drainage middle Row 488 rail tube back Row 488 window back Row 494 window back Row 494 substrate back Row 494 rail tube middle Row 494 drainage front Row 392 substrate front Row 392 substrate middle Row 392 substrate back Row 372 substrate front disinfection 31480 50157 50529 8653 11044 29433 38053 3616 62907 35875 1055 12892 10364 67405 816 42623 1308 40729 41194 8019 10380 47047 33403 2197 10281 993 41313 6625 8907 18026 20113 5652 18395 29665 85179 19989

RLU after disinfection 19304 25065 20351 1033 1238 9811 4192 4639 24788 16356 1012 1435 1750 4383 209 69290 143 4317 9495 223 453 7519 8178 374 2322 261 14082 304 217 4950 12272 1850 5160 8189 56711 2583

Reduction (%) 37 50 60 88 89 67 89 - Unclear why increase 39 54 4 89 83 93 74 - Unclear why increase 89 89 77 97 96 84 76 83 77 74 66 95 97 73 39 67 72 72 33 Dry swab 87 Remarks

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RLU before Swab 37 38 Position Row 372 substrate middle Row 372 substrate back disinfection 27408 29443

RLU after disinfection 7211 7306

Reduction (%) 74 75 72 % Remarks

Average RLU reduction

Figure 4. Harm Vogels investigating in the greenhouse

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Conclusion
Intra Hydocare is effective when applied to a greenhouse in a 3% concentration by thermal fogging. Results show a decrease in RLU, which is an indication of microbiological contamination present, in 36 of the 38 spots measured and an average decrease of 72% for all spots. Note that these impressive results were obtained in a greenhouse in which many organic soiling was present (e.g. plant rests, algae, etc.). Therefore it can be concluded that Intra Hydrocare is an essential part of the hygienic strategy by reducing the infection pressure and improving hygienic conditions in greenhouses.

Authors

C.A.J.M. (Carly) Vulders Bsc, Hvk Product Development & Regulatory Affairs M. 0031 613 942 297 T. 0031 413 354 105 E. cvulders@intracare.nl

Harm Vogels Account Manager Horticultura T. 0031 413 354 105 E. hvogels@intracare.nl

Intracare BV Voltaweg 4 - 5466 AZ - Veghel The Netherlands www.intracare.nl

Intracare bv Voltaweg 4

5466 AZ Veghel The Netherlands

T +31 (0)413 354 105 F +31 (0)413 362 324

info@intracare.nl

For practical solutions


www.intracare.nl

Intracare bv Voltaweg 4

5466 AZ Veghel The Netherlands

T +31 (0)413 354 105 F +31 (0)413 362 324

info@intracare.nl

For practical solutions


www.intracare.nl