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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Pre and Postharvest Treatment of Tropical and Other Commodities for Quarantine Security, Quality Maintenance, and Value Enhancement

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Title: Phytosanitary of irradiation of fresh tropical commodities in Hawaii: generic treatments, commercial adoption and current issues

Authors
item FOLLETT, PETER
item Weinert, Eric -

Submitted to: Journal of Radiation Physics and Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 12, 2011
Publication Date: August 1, 2012
Citation: Follett, P.A., Weinert, E. 2012. Phytosanitary of irradiation of fresh tropical commodities in Hawaii: generic treatments, commercial adoption and current issues. Journal of Radiation Physics and Chemistry.

Interpretive Summary: Hawaii was the first place in the world to use irradiation as a quarantine treatment of tropical fruits for export. The commercial x-ray irradiation facility, Hawaii Pride LLC, has been shipping papaya and other tropical fruits and vegetables to the United States mainland using irradiation for 11 years. Irradiation is an approved treatment to control quarantine pests in 17 fruits and 7 vegetables for export from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian purple sweet potato is the highest volume product with annual exports of more than 12 million lbs. The advent of generic radiation doses for tephritid fruit flies (150 Gy) and other insects (400 Gy) will accelerate commodity export approvals and facilitate worldwide adoption. Lowering doses for specific pests and commodities can lower treatment costs and increase capacity owing to shorter treatment times, and will minimize any quality problems. Current impediments to wider adoption include the 1 KGy limit for fresh horticultural products, the labelling requirement, and non-acceptance of phytosanitary irradiation in Japan, the European Union and elsewhere. Irradiation has potential as a treatment for unregulated imports to prevent new pest incursions.

Technical Abstract: Hawaii Pride is a pioneer in the use of phytosanitary irradiation. The commercial x-ray irradiation facility , Hawaii Pride LLC, has been shipping papaya and other tropical fruits and vegetables to the United States mainland using irradiation for 11 years. Irradiation is an approved treatment to control quarantine pests in 17 fruits and 7 vegetables for export from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian purple sweet potato is the highest volume product with annual exports of more thatn 12 million kgs (5,500 tons). The advent of generic radiation treatments for tephritid fruit flies (150 Gy) and other insects (400 Gy) will accelerate commodity export approvals and facilitate worldwide adoption. Lowering doses for specific pests and commodities can lower treatment costs and increase capacity owing to shorter treatment lines, and will minimize any quality problems. Current impediments to wider adoption include 1 KGy limit for fresh horticultural products, the labelling requirement, and non-acceptance of phytosanitary irradiation to Japan, Taiwan, the European Union and elsewhere. Irradiation has potential as a treatment for unregulated imports to prevent new pest incursions.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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