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Key Challenge When Using Thermal Assisted Drying, Decontamination

25 May 2017
Manitoba Pork Council


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CANADA - A Graduate Student with the University of Saskatchewan says the biggest challenge, when using heat to kill diseases causing pathogens in swine transport trailers, is ensuring all surfaces reach a high enough temperature to kill the organisms, Bruce Cochrane writes.

As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc aimed at developing an automated system for cleaning and disinfecting swine transport trailers, scientists are assessing the value of Thermal Assisted Drying and Decontamination.

The goal of TADD is to use heat to raise the interior surfaces of livestock transport trailers to high enough temperatures for specified amounts of time sufficient to deactivate dangerous pathogens.

Hans Deason, a Graduate Student in Mechanical Engineering with the University of Saskatchewan, notes when you're dealing with a 53 foot livestock transport trailer there's a lot of thermal mass that you actually need to be able to heat up so it sounds easier than it actually is.

Hans Deason-University of Saskatchewan

One of the key challenges is to just make sure that you get the entire interior surface of these trailers to the target temperature for the correct amount of time.

For instance right near the heat source at the back of the trailer, where the forced air is entering the trailer, there's no problem heating up that surface to well over the target temperatures that people might be looking at.

Generally the further away from that heat source that you get, the temperatures start to fall a little bit so that's definitely one factor.

Another factor is behind any walls or obstructions inside these transport trailers where the forced air has a hard time reaching.

Typically temperatures in those locations can be a little bit lower as well.

Mr Deason acknowledges the jury is still out on the temperatures that should be targeted but, right now, it seems 75 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes might be sufficient to kill even the most hardy of pathogens.

He says it seems like the most hardy and difficult to kill pathogen by means of heat is the virus responsible for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea.

ThePigSite News Desk



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