DOST-FPRDI’s heat treat­ment al­lows pal­let in­dus­try to meet global stan­dards

Agriculture - - Contents -

IN­SECT PESTS and dis­eases com­ing from other coun­tries are known to have caused en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ters in the US. In north­east­ern and mid­west­ern Amer­ica, these agents of de­struc­tion, though very, very small, have in­vaded forests and wiped out en­tire species of trees in a mat­ter of decades.

To help en­sure that in­va­sive in­sect pests and dis­eases are not trans­mit­ted from one coun­try to another thru global trade, the In­ter­na­tional Stan­dard for Phy­tosan­i­tary Mea­sures (ISPM) No. 15 was en­forced in 2002, man­dat­ing the mak­ers of wooden pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als to ster­il­ize their pal­lets and crates. Mode of ster­il­iz­ing is ei­ther through heat treat­ment (HT) or methyl bro­mide fu­mi­ga­tion.

A pal­let is a flat trans­port struc­ture used for ship­ping goods around the world. Here in the Philip­pines, the wooden pal­let in­dus­try is able to com­ply with the ISPM reg­u­la­tion us­ing DOSTFPRDI’s HT tech­nol­ogy.

Ac­cord­ing to DOST-FPRDI’s Wency H. Carmelo, “Com­pared to methyl bro­mide or MB, HT is a safer and cheaper way to fu­mi­gate wooden pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als. High MB lev­els are known to cause deaths and are very harm­ful to the ozone layer.” She added, HT, on the other hand, is non-toxic and about 50 per­cent cheaper than MB treat­ment. MB also makes wood pal­lets non-re­cy­clable.”

Made up of a fur­nace-type dryer with a com­put­er­ized data log­ger, the HT en­sures that the pal­let blocks’ core reaches at least 56oC, which is main­tained for 30 min­utes. At this set­ting, all in­sects and in­fec­tious or­gan­isms in­fest­ing the wood are killed, no mat­ter what their life stage.

Twelve pal­let mak­ers in the South­ern Ta­ga­log Re­gion now use the tech­nol­ogy and are pro­vid­ing HT ser­vices to other pal­let pro­duc­ers and the many ex­port­ing com­pa­nies based in the area. Among the suc­cess­ful adopters are Nip­pon Ex­press and Adtek Philip­pines, Inc. Another is ACE + FA En­ter­prises in Cabuyao, La­guna which has saved around R80,000 a month after it stopped rent­ing the HT ser­vices of another firm and started us­ing its own. It is now an ac­cred­ited HT provider. Like­wise, another pal­let-maker also in Cabuyao, La­guna was able to save at least 100,000 board feet of lum­ber from sure de­cay, thanks to the HT fa­cil­ity.

In 2011, Suri Pal­lets, Inc. put up a lum­ber dryer de­signed by a pri­vate com­pany. The ma­chine, how­ever, failed to work prop­erly, leav­ing the firm un­able to dry its huge stock of lum­ber. The man­age­ment then asked DOST-FPRDI to help, and in 2015, the dryer was ren­o­vated us­ing the de­sign of its low-cost HT sys­tem. With the makeover, Suri was fi­nally able to dry all its lum­ber sup­ply, and in­creased its out­put from 100 to 500 pal­lets per day.

Carmelo con­cluded, “We are happy that DOST-FPRDI’s heat treat­ment tech­nol­ogy is an ex­port in­dus­try en­abler and pro­motes for our pal­let mak­ers a safer and cheaper way to com­ply with global stan­dards.” (RIZALINA K. ARARAL, DOST-FPRDI, S&T ME­DIA SER­VICE)

The heat treat­ment fa­cil­ity of ACE + FA En­ter­prises.

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