Hygiene, the weakest link

Competitor moulds in compost can have catastrophic effects on production. This is why tunnel companies pay so much attention to homogenisation, pasteurisation and conditioning to create selective compost and then inoculate and incubate it under highly hygienic conditions.

A major part of the price of compost can be attributed to cleaning disinfection filters etc. The greatest attention is often paid to the choice of spore filter, its efficiency and the replacement frequency. However, with this type of hygiene measure the weakest link counts. If one tiny detail is overlooked, then all the other efforts to create a hygienic situation will be worthless – with often disastrous results.

The hygiene check carried out as a preventative measure by AdVisie is intended to identify these details. With tunnel companies one of the major weaknesses is under pressure leakage. This is an opening in the ducting between the inlet filter and the fan. Unfiltered air is extracted by the fan via this gap and blown into the compost.  This is an even higher risk if the air is contaminated with spores caused by over pressure leaks.

Con Hermans, AdVisie ‘the mushroom cultivation advisors’

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