Pre and Postharvest Treatment of Tropical and Other Commodities for Quarantine Security, Quality Maintenance, and Value Enhancement
Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research
2011 Annual Report
Low-chill blueberry susceptibility to fruit flies. Low chill blueberries grow in Hawaii but are susceptible to fruit flies. ARS scientists in Hilo, HI tested 15 cultivars of low-chill blueberries in the laboratory for their susceptibility to tephritid fruit flies. Cultivars varied widely in their susceptibility to oriental fruit fly and Mediterranean fruit fly infestation and certain cultivars were not preferred. This information will aid in development of pest management recommendations as planting of low-chill blueberry cultivars expands to areas with subtropical and tropical fruit flies. Planting of fruit fly resistant cultivars may result in lower infestation levels and less crop loss.
Postharvest practices for exporting longans. Peel browning and postharvest decay are major limitations to longan shelf-life and export to distant markets. ARS scientists in Hilo, HI determined optimal temperature and packaging systems to maintain longan fruit quality during shipping and handling. The research showed that precise temperature control during all phases of postharvest handling is critical for quality assurance of this tropical fruit. However under fluctuating temperatures typical in the postharvest chain, clamshell containers were the best package for preserving longan quality. Adoption of a new or improved packaging system for longans will expand exports and benefit the industry without requiring a change in field practices in order to reduce postharvest problems that have constrained export and marketing.
Availability of commercial Beauveria products for control of coffee berry borer. Beauveria basiana is an insect-killing fungus which is the most important natural enemy of the coffee berry borer. ARS scientists in Hilo, HI characterized the genetic diversity of locally occurring strains of B. bassiana. These research results and other information were used by regulators in public meetings to document the environmental safety of this generalist insect pathogen, leading to the introduction and use of commercial Beauveria products for control of this new, extremely damaging pest in Hawaii.
Galarza, L., Neumann, G., Follett, P.A. 2010. Response of white peach scale to metabolic stress disinfection and disinfestation (MSDD) treatment. Hawaiian Entomological Society Proceedings. 42:49-52.