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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Radio Frequency Treatments for Postharvest Codling Moth Control in Fresh Apples

Authors
item Hansen, James D
item Drake, Stephen
item Heidt, Mildred
item Watkins, Michele
item Watkins, Michele
item Tang, J - WA ST UNIV, BIOL SYS ENG
item Wang, S - WA ST UNIV, BIOL SYS ENG

Submitted to: Hortechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 4, 2004
Publication Date: October 10, 2004
Citation: Hansen, J.D., Drake, S.R., Heidt, M.L., Watkins, M.A., Tang, J., Wang, S. 2004. Radio frequency treatments for postharvest codling moth control in fresh apples. Hort Technology. 14:533-537.

Interpretive Summary: Heat treatments are becoming the preferred method for disinfesting quarantine pests from fresh commodities intended for export. A rapid method for heating is to use radio frequency energy. The advantages of this procedure is that heating is linear with time, very fast, can penetrate deep inside the commodity, and leaves no toxic residues. This study ascertains the operational problems with radio frequency, tests solutions to these problems, and evaluates treatment efficacy for codling moth larvae lethality in apples.

Technical Abstract: Efficacy of using radio frequency (RF) 27.12 MHz was evaluated as a postharvest quarantine treatment against fifth instars of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella L. (Lepidoptera:Tortricidae), in apples, Malus sylvestris (L.) var. domestica (Borkn.) Mansf. Tests demonstrated that the energy fields between the RF unit's electrodes were neither predictable nor uniform. Moving fruits submerged in water during RF exposure may improve uniformity, but pulp temperatures varied considerably among fruits, among sites on the same fruits, and at different depths within the same site. As a result of these inconsistencies, quarantine efficacy was not obtained either using a range of final average temperatures from 40 to 68 degrees C (104.0 to 154.4 degrees F) or at holding times up to 20 minutes. We concluded it would be difficult to obtain the appropriate parameters for treatment efficacy and fruit quality maintenance using this technology under these conditions.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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