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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mitigation of Whitefly Honeydew Levels on Cotton Lint Via Thermal and Citric Acid Treatment

item Gamble, Gary

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 2, 2002
Publication Date: September 10, 2002
Citation: Gamble, G.R. Mitigation of whitefly honeydew levels on cotton lint via thermal and Citric Acid treatment. Journal of Cotton Science. 2002. v.6, p.143-147.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton contaminated by insect honeydew, termed sticky cotton, is a major concern to the textile industry. There are currently no methods to remediate the contaminated cotton before arrival at the textile mill, and if not carefully handled it may result in machine shutdown. A method is described in this work which involved the addition of a chemical catalyst to the contaminated cotton and subsequent heat treatment. Results show a marked improvement in honeydew sugar levels, indicating that the method may be used to eliminate stickiness on contaminated cotton so that processing of the cotton will not lead to mill shutdown.

Technical Abstract: Cotton lint heavily contaminated with whitefly honeydew was treated with an organic acid catalyst and subsequently subjected to elevated temperatures for varying amounts of time. Sugar concentrations on the cotton lint were analyzed as a function of temperature and heating time using high performance anion exchange chromatography. Results show a dramatic decrease in honeydew sugar levels for catalyst treated cotton compared to untreated cotton. Chemical treatment of contaminated cotton in conjunction with elevated temperatures may thus be the basis of a potential method for the mitigation of cotton stickiness.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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