Vaporization of biological control organisms in cold storage rooms to control postharvest diseases
Storage diseases can cause important losses on pome fruits. Disease management to control storage diseases includes several treatments with different fungicides in the weeks prior to harvest. Nowadays, the presence of residues on fruits becomes more and more a public and governmental concern. In order to reduce the chemical residue on fruits to a minimum, more and more research is performed on alternative disease management. In this respect, in 2013, a project concerning the 'Vaporization of biological control organisms (BCOs) in cold storage to control postharvest diseases', which was funded by the Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT), has started at the research station for fruit cultivation (Pcfruit) in collaboration with the Institute for agricultural and fisheries research (ILVO) and the Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven). In a first step, the influence of fungicides applied in the months prior to storage on different BCOs was tested in vitro and in vivo. Besides that, also the influence of additives on the efficiency of biological control organisms in their control of storage diseases caused by Neofabraea alba or Botrytis cinerea was investigated after artificial inoculation experiments. This pointed out that some fungicides can have important negative effects on the BCOs tested and that additives, like calcium chloride and calcium-D-gluconate, can enhance the efficacy of BCOs in the control of fungal storage diseases. Furthermore, out of different tests the vaporization device 'Swingtec Fontan Starlet' was selected for the vaporization of the BCOs and research is going on to optimize the homogeneous distribution of the BCOs in the cold storage room with the help of a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model.
Vanwalleghem, T., Dekeyser, D., Nuyttens, D., Tsige, A., Verboven, P., Van Hemelrijck, W. and Bylemans, D. (2016). Vaporization of biological control organisms in cold storage rooms to control postharvest diseases. Acta Hortic. 1144, 121-128
BCO, additives, Neofabraea, apple, fruit rot