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  • Posted on 20 February 2021

ToBRFV: means to effectively kill the virus

A true nightmare for tomato growers when their turnover disappears due to the ToBRF virus. The Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRF) has been around for some time now, but extremely dangerous for tomato growers and therefore a good hygiene plan remains necessary.

ToBRFV can cause infected tomato and pepper fruits to become discoloured and misshapen. The virus causes brown or yellow patches on the crop and may be malformed or not ripening properly. This leads to an unsaleable crop with enormous economic damage for tomato growers.

ToBRFV is easily spread to host plants via all sorts of contact and is therefore extremely contagious. The virus can be transferred by a variety of ways, for example via hands, gloves, used tools and crates. In short, this virus spreads easily, very quickly and over great distances.

A strict hygiene plan is a minimum condition to prevent the risk of contamination. Measures before entering the greenhouse include clean working gear, hands and footwear, hygienic entrances with sole cleaning and hand disinfection can facilitate this. Disinfection remains the spearhead to offer this virus as little chance as possible. These measures include the thorough cleaning of crates and pallets and other product carriers used by growers.

Testing TOBRF-virus on crates

Part of our extensive research into ToBRFV was the conduction of an experiment on means to effectively kill the virus on crates. We invited experts on this theme into our testing facility in which we’ve tested with several parameters. In our test center we created various scenarios in which we played with parameters such as water temperature, disinfectant and the residence time in the washer. Laboratory research is not always necessary but with a virus quantified as quarantine-worthy, a proper research is not only desirable, it becomes necessary. The lab result gives us means to be able to defeat the virus on crates effictively, by means of washing and disinfecting.

Curious about the results of this research? Or would you like to know more about the possibilities of Unifortes in preventing virus outbreaks in your company? Please feel free to contact our experts!

Jeroen Verkerk | Sales manager

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