Breakthrough Research Prompts Advancement in Swine Pathogen Destruction

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Farmscape for November 23, 2021

Full Interview 10:36 Listen

The Associate Dean Research with the University of Saskatchewan says researchers are now looking for ways to increase the reliability of heat to disinfect swine transport trailers. Research conducted by VIDO-InterVac as part of a Swine Innovation Porc initiative to improve the disinfection of transportation equipment, that confirmed disease causing pathogens will be inactivated when exposed to 75-degree temperatures for 20 minutes, prompted swine truck wash operators to turn up the heat in their drying bays. Dr. Terry Fonstad, the Associate Dean Research and Partnerships with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Engineering, says that breakthrough has also inspired the development of new technologies to maximise the effectiveness of heating.

Clip-Dr. Terry Fonstad-University of Saskatchewan:
It takes a lot of energy to heat a trailer to 75 degrees for 20 minutes so future work is going to encompass better ways to heat trailers, understanding air flow in trailers. The current work then was to try and figure out, if I’m going to heat a trailer, how do I figure out that every spot in the trailer got to the right temperature? If I’m heating someone else’s trailer, I want to make sure that that trailer was disinfected so then it becomes I need sensors. I need to understand first of all what the heat characteristics inside a trailer look like and then, in the cool spots that are identified, I need to be able to put sensors that will tell the bake bay operator that the temperature that they’re supposed to. That got into some work that a master’s student did in putting instruments inside of a trailer during heating to look at what the heat regime was and then using that information to work with Transport Genie out of Guelph to actually develop sensors that would work that would, report to the cloud, be able to transfer data. Then we’re going to extend that work to design better bake chambers and more efficient ways to bake these trailers.

Dr. Fonstad says the challenge right now is to come up with a sensor that is durable enough to withstand the rigors of transport, the chemicals used to clean the trailers and the abuse inflicted on them by the pigs.

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