Ljusgårda got rid of its mold

Ozone sanitation is now an essential part of the everyday sanitation routine

Ljusgårda is a leading startup within high-tech hydroponics. Their vision is to make Sweden self-sufficient in vegetable and leafy greens production. Starting with arugula and crisp salad, the proof of concept has now been established. The investment in an additional 7,000 m3 production facility and many new job opportunities has made a palpable impact in the small community of Tibro. An old woodworks facility has been converted to a state-of-the-art premises for growing fresh produce. The production and idéa for the business were formed by three friends who set up the first hydroponic system in one of their garages. Three years later, they are regularly delivering to 15 stores and rapidly expanding both production and logistic coverage. The next stage of development is a more automated production. Ljusgårda takes pride in aiming for the most environmentally friendly, nutrient-rich and locally produced greens available on the Swedish market. No pesticides are used in the production, which uses a drop system that supplies the vertical growing skids with nutrient-rich water. All water is circulated and purified using several filtration and sterilization systems. All water is circulated and purified using several filtration and sterilization systems.

Facts

  • Name:

    Ljusgårda AB

  • Location:

    Tibro, Sweden

  • Industry:

    Hydroponic arugula and crisp salad producer

  • Production space:

    7,000 m3

  • Purpose:

    Mold removal

  • Performance:

    100% mold inactivation

Solution:

  • Ozonetech RENA Pro B1 with wheels for mobility

  • Dimensions (HxWxD):

    1,800 x 800 x 800 mm

  • Input power:

    1.2 kW

  • Noise level:

    55 dB

  • Ozone concentration:

    up to 240 g/Nm3

The problem

Mold in any agricultural operation is a serious cause for concern. Producing billions of spores, the mold finds a suitable habitat and takes hold. These spores end up on all surfaces, crops, and crevasses to form the active organism. During his first week on the job, Erik, who is one of the co-founders of Ljusgårda, was introduced in his role as responsible for the hygienic environment. It came to his attention that a mold infestation had started in a critical part of the production space where the produce was grown. During the warm summer months, the humidity and heat made for particularly good growing conditions. Despite several attempts of rinsing and cleaning with various disinfectants, the contamination kept growing. It quickly gained ground and soon the fear was it would completely halt the newly started production.

The solution

Mellifiq was contacted at a point when both equipment and parts of the facility were considered unfit for use. A solution was needed – fast. With short notice, Ljusgårda received a mobile high concentration ozone system, the Ozonetech RENA Pro. It was put to use with immediate effect. The facility’s equipment was rinsed clean and placed in the production area. Several rooms were sealed off one at a time and ventilation was shut off. The idea was to reach a sufficient ozone concentration to reach all surfaces, equipment, nooks and crannies of the room. The rooms were treated for a few hours each and the mold was consistently inactivated. Even the most contaminated spaces were inactivated enough to start production right back up.

Evaluation

Being a gas, the ozone is able to reach places and into spaces where cleaning otherwise is not possible. Both spores and the organism itself are extremely sensitive to the ozone’s oxidative effect and the high concentrations reaching several parts per million in the room. After 4-8 hours of treatment in each room, the mold and its spores were effectively inactivated. The vertical garden skids could be reinstalled and the loading and unloading space was reopened to service the facility. The Ozonetech Rena Pro system has since been used during evenings and weekends as a barrier for microbiological growth. It is used to sanitize both the production and packing area at regular intervals. With this regular treatment, no further outbreaks have been experienced.

We use the Ozonetech RENA Pro for weekly sanitation in our production, storage and packing areas.