In 2001, while watching a report on Britain’s foot-and-mouth outbreak, a terrible crisis in which 10 million sheeps and cows were culled and then burned, Serge Auray said to his wife: ”We can visit the moon, but we can’t prevent the spread of this disease. How is this possible?”
The Canadian businessman, who owns a 140-employee cleaning company specializing in sanitization and disinfection of institutional and industrial sites, wanted to find a non-toxic, effective disinfectant that could be used in barns to reduce disease transmission without raising food safety issues.
It was a tough challenge, but Serge Auray was determined. He did his own research and ran into a microbiology expert and professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Montreal, Sylvain Quessy.
Sylvain Quessy proposed they use a molecule called thymol and told him that adding thymol inside a special formulation would create a very effective green disinfectant. Thymol can be found in the oil produced by the herb thyme. That created the first challenge: The end result would be a mix of water and the thyme based oil, however oil and water don’t mix all that well.
It took 5 challenging years of research and testing in order to find the «special formulation» and required Auray to find a state-of-the-art lab for his new company, Laboratoire M2. The end-product, Thymox, exceeded all expectations.
“I get calls every day from big global organizations wanting to know about our disinfectant technology,” he says. “People are very concerned about the health effects of chemical products.“
In December 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered Thymox and rated it effective against viruses in one minute, bacteria in two minutes and fungi in three minutes. Thymox acts faster than other popular household cleaners such as CloroxTM or LysolTM. Thymox is also a less toxic alternative, biodegradable and has a pleasant aroma. Thymox is now used as a preventive treatment against hoof infection and other diseases in many farms all across the world.
Inspired by: Glenn Cheater,” Sometimes ‘crazy’ ideas lead to great things”, Farm focus of Atlantic Canada, August 23, 2012