Air treatment systems seeing more use in produce operationsRGF Environmental Group Inc., is increasing its marketing of an air treatment system in the produce sector.

The Riviera Beach, Fla.-based manufacturer of environmental products to treat air, water and food surfaces in a variety of industries recently installed its patented photohydroionization (PHI) system to treat fungus in a pineapple importer’s Costa Rican operations.

The importer had been losing four to six containers a month to fungal issues.

RGF installed Turbozone units and Guardian Air mini HVAC PHI cells in cold storage rooms after the fruit was washed with chlorinated water, dried, received wax treatment and packaged.

The equipment eliminated those losses likely caused by a large turbine system that extracted air and returned cooled air potentially contaminated by airborne bacteria to the cooler, according to RGF.

Air treatment systems seeing more use in produce operationsPHI attacks and destroys pathogens including bacteria, mold spores and viruses.

Bill Svec, RGF’s vice president of water and food products, declined to state the name of the pineapple company.

For years, RGF has been applying the chemical-free air treatment technology to eliminate pathogens in other food sectors including protein processing plants and in cruise ships but recently began increasing use in fresh produce processing and handling operations.

“There is no limitation on what type of product this can be used in and the technology works no matter what you expose it to,” he said. “We’re trying to get more exposure in the produce market because there are some real issues there even more so than the protein sector.”

The product constantly replenishes itself and helps plants fight cross-contamination, Svec said.

The system can be added to existing air treatment operations or mounted as self-contained wall units in plants and coolers, Svec said.