The Humigator has been decontaminating potato storage spaces across the globe for eight years already. This machine, developed by Idaho Hydro Tech, does so without using germicides. This air purifier disinfects and humidifies the air in storage areas. It also removes all bacteria and microbes. That suppresses black spot and silver scurf, both potato diseases.
Tests done at a German customer even showed a 60 to 80% reduction of these. Also, the Humigator ensures a relative humidity of more than 95%. So potatoes do not lose weight. Water consumption is reduced to a minimum too.
European dealers sought
The machine is American-made. It was developed in Idaho, the Potato State of the US. It has been available in Europe since last year. Jebe's Jef Viaene imports the Humigator DFS in Europe. "The Humigator requires very little maintenance. It can easily be installed in any potato warehouse," he says. The company is looking for other European distributors. They must be active in supplying crop protection or storage equipment in Europe. These businesses must take on the importation of the Humigator. And install them at clients in their home country.
“The Humigator purifies the entire storage area's air every 30 minutes. It does so by drawing air from the storage space and mixing it with atomized water. Pressure changes move the water particles at high speed. It catches all the air-borne bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. The system separates the dirty water from the cleaned air. And it discharges the contaminated water. Finally, it blows the clean, moist air back into the warehouse. This system continuously removes bacteria, viruses, and fungi from the air. That prevents pathogens from growing further."
In 2018, the Humigator caught Peter P. Sheridan's attention. He is a biochemistry professor at Idaho State University. He extensively tested the device's capabilities. How well does it remove mold spores, bacteria, and viruses from the air? His conclusion - the Humigator is highly effective.
"Maintaining storage humidity levels means potatoes can be stored for up to 12 months. You no longer need to use chemicals and germicides. That's because there are no bacteria and fungi in the air. This drastically reduces fallout and ensures beautiful potatoes reach store shelves," explains Jef.
For growers with ventilation systems, the machine is available for 1,000, 2,000, and 3,000 tons. With a ventilation system, the 1,000-ton type 10E machine costs €25,000. What if there is no ventilation system in the storage area? The Humigator 10E can then still be used. It will keep 300 tons of stored potatoes mold and bacteria-free. The 20E machine can handle 2,000 tons of ventilated and 600 tons of non-ventilated storage. It goes for €30,000. You can use the 25E machine for 3,000 tons. It is priced at €35,000. Prices are FOB Brussels Airport (European duty paid).
"Maintenance, however, costs almost nothing. The machine needs only water, electricity, and engine grease. It will last at least ten years at no cost," says Viaene. He calls on interested parties to visit his stand at Interpom in Kortrijk, Belgium. "Do you want your income to increase by 10%, thanks to good storage facilities? Then you've come to the right place. Everyone deserves better-quality, chemical-free potatoes," he concludes.