The EW solution is currently being trialled on courgette crops at National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) in Cambridge as part of an Innovate UK-funded research project.
A group of growers and industry representatives who visited NIAB’s fields on August 20 (2015) as part of the institute’s courgette demonsration day were shown a fridge-like OZOPure machine by NIAB’s Simon McAdam. He revealed that the machine enables salt water to be passed through a membrane to create a solution containing hypochlorous acid, which has an anti-microbial effect.
The results of the trial could be of particular interest to fresh produce growers because, as McAdam pointed out, the treatment leaves behind no harmful residues and has no [label] use restrictions.
He said: "We are testing how the hypochlorous acid works on different crops and in different environments." He added that, so far, the trial has "seen some very positive effects on powdery mildew in tomato crops." He explained how tomato plants that had had one treatment of EW solution, and which had been exposed to powdery mildew spores, appeared to have some resistance to the disease. "More than we would have expected," he said, adding: "This is our first field trial looking at powdery mildew in courgettes. We also have some carrots [in the trial] and we will be doing more experiments in the future. Further down the road we will be looking at different concentrations, for instance."
McAdam showed the group how the courgette trial is specifically examining what, if any, sort of control the hypochlorous acid has on powdery mildew and other diseases affecting the cucurbit crop. He is also examining the effects that the EW solution has on yields as well as the phytotoxicity of the EW treatment.