Wageningen University & Research study confirms previous Groen Agro Control findings

Viruses are not resistant to being heated in Ecoster disinfector

Commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Wageningen University & Research is investigating the effectiveness of various disinfection techniques for drain water, specifically heat (Ecoster), UV light and ozone. The recent interim report shows that heating drain water in the Ecoster renders all of the viruses investigated completely harmless. This confirms the results of previous research by Groen Agro Control, which focused on ToBRFV.

For this project, Van Dijk Heating built an Ecoster disinfector that treats water containing the organisms to be tested for 3, 4 or 5 minutes at 85°C or for 30 seconds at 95°C. Water samples for the tests were taken before and after the treatment. Depending on the pathogen, the samples were placed on plants or on plates. The results of infection and outgrowth were then collected and compared with control samples.

The viruses tested were tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV), eggplant mosaic virus (EMV) and potato virus X (PVX). Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) served as a control. All the viruses, as well as the plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum, were found to be completely eliminated after both 3 minutes of heating at 85°C and 30 seconds of heating at 95°C. These are also the standard treatments that Van Dijk Heating recommends, regardless of the model used. Other viruses, fungi and bacteria relevant to greenhouse horticulture – including various Q-organisms – will be tested over the course of this year. The research will continue until the end of 2022.

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