Research reports from around the world have recently been published, which would confirm that post-harvest treatment of fresh fruit and vegetables with UV (ultra-violet rays) helps extend shelf life. Young mold, such as Botrytis, can be deactivated without chemicals. It does not make the berries sterile, but it extends the time a product can be sold on the market: the treatment makes the fruit or products stronger. This applies to outdoor crops but also indoor ones.

Dutch company CleanLight has already installed similar systems for strawberries, blueberries, peppers, nectarines, peaches, apples, pears, tomatoes, and flower bulbs. In Europe, North America, South America, and Africa. So, let’s ask their director, Arne Aiking, some technical questions:

Where can we UV-treat berries? 

The best place is to treat them as they roll on the sorting and packing line. When the berries move, the germicidal light can reach all sides of the berries.

Which pathogens can be controlled? 

All contaminants that can be found on the surface, such as mold or Botrytis, and human pathogens such as e.coli, Listeria, etc, can be controlled.

How can we treat the berries? 

A CleanLight UV hood can be placed on an existing processing line, such as Maf Roda, Aweta, Elifab, Tomra, Unitec, etc.

How long does the treatment take? 

The lamps we use are very powerful, so two or three seconds is usually enough to kill the pathogens without harming the fruit.

Is this technology approved for organic growers? 

Yes, in the Netherlands SKAL has recognized CleanLight since 2007. In addition, we also meet the critical food safety requirements set by HACCP.

How can we get more information? 

Ask your preferred processing equipment supplier, or contact Damian van Dijk at CleanLight: +31640395790

What are the main advantages? 

a) Effective against molds but also bacteria;
b) No liquid;
c) No residue;
d) No consumption costs.

What does it look like in practice? 

For more information, see this video.

This is a translation of an Italian article on Italian Berry.