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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Title: Control of stored product pests by ionizing radiation

item Hallman, Guy

Submitted to: Journal of Stored Products Research
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: October 9, 2012
Publication Date: January 2, 2013
Repository URL:
Citation: Hallman, G.J. 2013. Control of stored product pests by ionizing radiation. Journal of Stored Products Research. 52: 36-41.

Interpretive Summary: The use of food irradiation is increasing in the world because it can assist in solving some food problems such as food-borne illness and quarantine of agricultural commodities. This review article focuses on the use of irradiation in stored products for pest control. The doses required to control stored product pests range from 50 Gy for yellow mealworm to 450 Gy for Angoumois grain moth. Although small amounts of grain and pulses are irradiated in the world today, that amount is increasing, especially in Asia. Thirty three countries permit irradiation of some stored products with 14 permitting it for all stored products. One area that may show promise for use on exported grain is to prevent seeds from invasive plants from growing.

Technical Abstract: Food irradiation for prevention of food-borne illness and disinfestation of commodities of pests is increasing in a number of countries. The goal of this review is to analyze the literature and current use of irradiation to control stored-product pests and suggest research to optimize its potential. Doses to prevent reproduction of stored-product pests range from 50 Gy for Tenebrio molitor L. to 450 Gy for Sitotroga cereallela (Olivier). Small but increasing amounts of grains and pulses are being irradiated in the world today especially in Asia. At least 33 countries permit irradiation of some stored products with 14 countries permitting it for all stored products. Ways in which stored-product irradiation research and application may influence other uses of irradiation technology are also discussed. Deactivation of weed seeds might be an area of stored-product phytosanitation where irradiation would have an advantage over other measures.

Last Modified: 11/28/2015
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