Decontamination of Flower Bulbs using Atmospheric Plasma
Small Business Information
924 Corridor Park Blvd., Knoxville, TN, 37932
Abstract"The United States floriculture industry reached a total of $5.6 billion in domestic consumption in 2002 with an additional $111 million in exports. As the industry continues to move towards mechanized harvesting in order to increase production, the potential for bulb injury and resulting fungal infection has increased, as well. Current chemical methods to reduce fungal infection are often costly, impractical, and not completely effective. Atmospheric Glow Technologies (AGT) proposes to develop a post-harvest anti-fungal treatment for bulbs using the patented One Atmosphere Uniform Glow Discharge Plasma (OAUGDP®). Our intent is to build upon success in the military decontamination arena to provide an economically feasible option for low temperature gaseous decontamination of bulbs for commercial growers. Preliminary experiments using atmospheric plasma to decontaminate fungal inoculated bulbs were successful in reducing the population of viable fungal spores on the bulbs by over 3.5 logs. The success of this effort will be measured not only in terms of the efficiency of fungal neutralization (in terms of log reduction with respect to time and the volume of bulbs treated), but will also be based on a preliminary assessment of the feasibility of implementing an atmospheric plasma system in a bulb harvesting operation."
* information listed above is at the time of submission.