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n increasing demand for mold-free wood packaging in the food and pharmaceutical sectors has led to a greater need to understand the finer points of the mold issue. In response to this need, NWPCA brought together two members of the wood packaging industry and one member of the wood preservation industry to discuss what can be done to combat mold, and how the industry can better educate customers to ensure that the wood packaging remains mold-free throughout its lifecycle. The discussion panel occurred at the Annual Leadership Convention at Ft. Lauderdale in March and was moderated by NWPCA Technical and PDS™ manager Brad Gething. The panel consisted of Ralph Rupert, Manager of Unit Load Technology, Millwood, Inc. in Vienna, Ohio; John Dye, Product Development Manager, Scott Pallets and President of TIMCON (Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation) of the U.K., and Dr. Mike Pompeo, Director of Technical Development, Osmose, Inc. in Griffin, Georgia. Wood packaging manufacturers need to recognize that wood material is potentially susceptible to mold growth the moment the tree is felled, and that susceptibility may increase as the tree is cut into cants and cut stock. A firm understanding of what mold is and what causes it will provide manufacturers with the foundation necessary to prevent mold growth. Mr. Rupert gave a strong presentation on this topic. He explained:"Mold spores are present everywhere in the environment and require several things to grow: oxygen, a food source and moisture. 20 PalletCentral March-April 2014 A What Don't You Know About MOLD? By Brad Gething, PhD, NWPCA Technical and PDS™ manager Photograph by G. Wanner/Getty Images "TIMCON is focusing on efforts to educate end-users about environmental conditions that promote mold growth, instruct them on proper pallet storage and handling, and provide best practice guidance on kiln drying pallets manufactured from green timber." John Dye, Scott Pallets and TIMCON INDUSTRY

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