Effective Reduction of Airborne Mold in Organic Produce Storage Facilities Using Airocide PPT™ Technology

A study demonstrates the effectiveness of Airocide technology in reducing fungal spores present in the air of organic product packhouses

03 December, 2023
A clinical study of the Airocide PPT™ airborne pathogen killing technology by STERILUMEN was conducted in a refrigerated cooler inside a large warehouse of a very large organic produce wholesaler located in The Netherlands to determine if the Airocide technology could reduce the amount of airborne mold present. Results inside the cooler were compared to the outer warehouse area where no Airocide PPT™ units were used. The three (3) Airocide PPT™ GCS-50 systems utilized for the study reduced the amount of airborne fungi inside the cooler by an average of 96.8% in 72 hours. At this point the units were turned off. Subsequently, after 48 hours the amount of airborne mold inside the cooler showed a 89.5% increase. These killing results are exceptional taking into account the very high contamination level of the testing area with an initial CFU counting (baseline) well over the 500 mold colonies.


The organic produce cooler where the Airocide PPT™ test took place is approximately 648 m³ in volume. The temperature in the cooler is kept at 4 ºC at all times. In order to maintain such temperature the cooler is equipped with an airtight door which is only opened when accessing is necessary. The test cooler is used for storage of citrus, both clean and contaminated, or new and old produce placed next to each other.


The test period consisted of five (5) consecutive days of air sampling. A baseline and an “active off” readings with no Airocide PPT™ systems operating were conducted at the start and at the end for comparison to the “active on” test. On day 1 of testing (September 30, 2005) two (2) air samples were taken inside the produce cooler and one (1) sample was taken in the main warehouse for comparison. On day 2 of testing (October 3, 2005) the same three (3) samples above were taken after three (3) Airocide PPT™ systems GCS-50 were operating in the cooler for 72 hours. On day 3 of testing (October 5, 2005) the same three (3) samples above were taken after three (3) Airocide PPT™ systems GCS-50 were inoperative in the cooler for 48 hours. Air samples were taken with an Aerotech6® air sampler on 9 x 90mm plastic petri dishes of Sabouraud Cloranfenicol Agar (SAB) for fungal growth. The results and total counts were provided by a local independent laboratory specifically chosen by the customer. All airborne mold in this study were measured in colony forming units (CFU) per cubic meter of air.


The table and graphic below show airborne mold reduction inside the cooler of 96.81% in 72 hours against a subsequent increase of 89.50% inside the cooler after 48 hours of no Airocide PPT™ use. This dramatic decrease is particularly significant considering the very high level of contamination in the cooler and the very short duration of the test.
Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea