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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Update on Development of Postharvest Pest Control Treatments for Nuts, Citrus, and Tropical Fruits Using Radio Frequency Energy

Authors
item Tang, Juming - WASHINGTON STATE UNIV
item Wang, Shaojin - WASHINGTON STATE UNIV
item Mitcham, Elizabeth - UC DAVIS
item Johnson, Judy
item Hansen, James D
item Hallman, Guy

Submitted to: Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 25, 2004
Publication Date: November 1, 2004
Citation: Tang, U., Wang, S., Mitcham, E.J., Johnson, J.A., Hansen, J.D., Hallman, G.J. 2004. Update on development of postharvest pest control treatments for nuts, citrus, and tropical fruits using radio frequency energy. Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Research Conference Proceedings. Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2004, Orlando, Florida. p. 75.1-4.

Interpretive Summary: The decline in methyl bromide use since 1999 and phasing out of MB production by 2005 for most applications have forced the multi-billion dollar U.S. fruit and nut industries to seek alternatives for postharvest control of storage and quarantine insect pests. The need to develop effective and economically viable alternative phytosanitation and quarantine treatments is urgent in order for U.S. agriculture to maintain competitiveness in domestic and international markets. A comprehensive research and development program was launched in 2000 by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers in engineering, entomology and plant physiology to develop novel non-chemical treatments based on electromagnetic energy, in particular radio frequency energy. This presentation provides an update on the progress related to postharvest treatments for dried nuts, fresh citrus and tropical fruits. The team has identified a potentially useful treatment for postharvest walnuts and is working with the walnut industry to test its effectiveness under commercial conditions. Laboratory protocols have been developed for radio frequency heat treatments for citrus and tropical fruits, but further research is needed to develop economically viable, large-scale treatments.

Technical Abstract: The decline in methyl bromide use since 1999 and phasing out of MB production by 2005 for most applications have forced the multi-billion dollar U.S. fruit and nut industries to seek alternatives for postharvest control of storage and quarantine insect pests. The need to develop effective and economically viable alternative phytosanitation and quarantine treatments is urgent in order for U.S. agriculture to maintain competitiveness in domestic and international markets. A comprehensive research and development program was launched in 2000 by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers in engineering, entomology and plant physiology to develop novel non-chemical treatments based on electromagnetic energy, in particular radio frequency energy. This presentation provides an update on the progress related to postharvest treatments for dried nuts, fresh citrus and tropical fruits. The team has identified a potentially useful treatment for postharvest walnuts and is working with the walnut industry to test its effectiveness under commercial conditions. Laboratory protocols have been developed for radio frequency heat treatments for citrus and tropical fruits, but further research is needed to develop economically viable, large-scale treatments.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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