RIVIERA BEACH, FL — While not exactly the Fountain of Youth for fruit and vegetable growers and packing houses, promising news today comes from RGF Environmental Group that its patented PHI-Cell® (Photohydroionization™) Technology has been tested to significantly reduce ethylene gas levels, providing extended shelf life by managing the ripening processes and avoiding pre-shipping and storage spoilage.
RGF utilized its new ASHRAE-compliant HVAC testing chamber for a series of laboratory-controlled tests of PHI treatment on high concentrations of ethylene gas. During the course of the 12-hour tests, in which RGF employed a standard 14" Guardian Air HVAC system for PHI treatment application, ethylene levels were reduced from a high concentration of 25 PPM to a very low level of 3.6 PPM.
For grow houses, ethylene, a natural occurring small hydrocarbon gas, can cause plants to die through loss of chlorophyll, abortion of plant foliage and stems, shortening and bending of stems.
Packing houses use special storage rooms to sometimes employ ethylene gas, which is commonly used commercially to ripen tomatoes, bananas, pears and a few other fruits postharvest. The flip side of unwanted, naturally occurring ethylene gas, is that it negatively influences the fruit's texture and color, as well as shortens the time cycle for processors to ship to market. By reducing ethylene gas levels, the PHI treatment provides the packing house with more time to process and ship before spoilage.
"This again is solid proof of the efficacy of our PHI Treatment processes that combines broad spectrum ultra violet light rays with advanced oxidation to provide highly effective non-chemical food sanitation for beef, chicken, pork, fish, vegetables, grains, fruits, brine and marinades, water and ice," said Bill Svec, RGF Vice President of Water and Food Products.
The PHI technology has been validated for control of Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia Coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as mold yeast and viruses.
"Now we've learned that in addition to effectively controlling plant air issues such odors, air pollutants, VOCs (chemical odors), smoke, mold, bacteria and viruses, PHI is capable of reducing high level of ethylene gas," said Svec.
Many processors, according to Svec, utilize RGF's PHI Treatment food sanitation systems through the installation of the company's HVAC plant air quality systems, which can be either mounted into the plant's air conditioning and heating system or mount units designed for the cubic footage of the plant space.
For more information on PHI treatment technology and RGF products, please go to www.rfg.com or call 561-848-1826.