Plant trolleys such as CC-containers, Danish trolleys and Flora trolleys are used in the logistics chain by multiple and often unknown users.
The trolleys are regularly soiled with plant, sand and substrate residues which can harbour mould, bacteria and viruses such as Fusarium, Xylella and ToBRFV.
Upscaling, automation and globalisation increase the susceptibility of nurseries to diseases and created a demand from the market for a more intensive disinfection method. Washing, followed by disinfection of plant trolleys is vital to prevent infection from entering a nursery. For this reason, a disinfection unit has been developed that applies Menno Florades to the trolleys as a foam. This development is done in direct collaboration with Menno Chemie GmbH. The most professional nurseries and plant breeders have been washing and disinfecting the incoming trolleys for years. Limex trolley washers have been operating around the world for decades.
Foam prolongs the intensive contact time of the disinfectant with the surface of the trolley. It therefore remains effective for much longer than liquid disinfectant, for example. The technique that we have used for several years with seed trays and crates has been refined to enable the whole trolley to be covered with foam. A value-added feature of these machines is that the excess foam in the unit is collected and reused. This effectively reduces consumption by approximately 20%. The precise amount of Menno Florades is used so there is zero wastage. The aim is a contact time of several hours, before the foam dries up.
There are a number of practical tips you can use to extend the contact time of the disinfectant. This also applies to many other methods of disinfection. Basically, make sure the disinfectant does not dry up too quickly. Avoid placing trolleys in direct sunlight or in a draught, but make sure the space is well ventilated to ensure good air quality.
The first foam unit for CC containers was put into operation by a nursery in December 2019. The experience gained in practice will be integrated into the design of the next machine. Various parameters of the washing and disinfection process are measured and registered to continually monitor a correct disinfection process.