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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Comparison of Alternative Postharvest Quarantine Treatments for Sweet Cherries

Authors
item Neven, Lisa
item Drake, Stephen

Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 23, 2000
Publication Date: September 20, 2000
Citation: Neven, L.G., Drake, S.R. 2000. Comparison of alternative postharvest quarantine treatments for sweet cherries. Postharvest Biology and Technology. 20:107-114.

Interpretive Summary: Methyl bromide is used to kill insects that may be present in sweet cherries before they are shipped to countries which impose a quarantine against these insects. This chemical has been identified as an ozone depleter and its production and sale in the United States will be prohibited by January 1, 2005 in accordance with the Clean Air Act. The loss of this chemical will greatly impact the export of sweet cherries. In an effort to maintain current export markets, alternative quarantine treatments are being developed. These treatments include irradiation, combination heat with low oxygen and high carbon dioxide, and microwave. The two most likely alternatives are irradiation and combination heat with low oxygen and high carbon dioxide. A comparison of the treatments on fruit quality are discussed as are the effects of these treatments on codling moth and western cherry fruit fly mortality. This research demonstrated that both irradiation and combination heat with low oxygen and high carbon dioxide have potential for alternative quarantine treatments for sweet cherries.

Technical Abstract: The effects of controlled atmosphere heat treatments (CATTS) and irradiation on sweet cherry fruit quality and insect mortality were compared to fumigation with methyl bromide. `Bing' and `Rainier' sweet cherry varieties were tested from Yakima and Wenatchee, Washington. The quality of irradiated cherries was similar to methyl bromide treated cherries. CATTS treated cherries showed an acceptable increase in pitting and bruising with only 14 days of shelf life as compared to 21 days for methyl bromide treated cherries. CATTS treatments, 45 deg C for 45 min and 47 deg C for 25 min with 1% oxygen and 15% carbon dioxide resulted in 100% mortality of both codling moth and western cherry fruit fly larvae. Irradiation treatment at 250 Gy and greater resulted in zero pupation of codling moth larvae, while treatments at 75 Gy resulted in zero adult emergence of third instar western cherry fruit fly larvae. This research demonstrated that both irradiation and CATTS have potential for alternative quarantine treatments for sweet cherries.

Last Modified: 11/24/2014
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