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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Considerations for Phytosanitary Heat Treatment Research

Author
item Hallman, Guy

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 22, 2006
Publication Date: August 11, 2007
Citation: Hallman, G.J. 2007. Considerations for phytosanitary heat treatment research. In: Tang, J., Mitcham, E., Wang, S., Lurie, S., editors. Heat Treatments for Postharvest Pest Control: Theory and Practice. Wallingford, UK:CAB International. p. 238-250.

Interpretive Summary: Of the major quarantine treatments used to prevent the spread of invasive pests, heat treatments (hot water immersion, vapor heat, heated forced air) are the most susceptible to changes in conditions of the commodities and pests being controlled. Temperature differences of only one degree may lead to the failure of the treatment in killing all target pests. Variations in laboratory colonies of the same pest species may result in different treatment specifications once the research is done and put into commercial practice. Rearing conditions of the pest may affect its susceptibility to heat. The method used to infest the commodity for testing can affect the result. The methods used for determining control can result in treatment failure when applied in a commercial and regulatory setting. Conditioning the commodity to tolerate the heat treatment may result in some of the insects surviving the treatment as well. The differences between research facilities and commercial treatment facilities may result in treatment failure when applied on a commercial scale. The burden of proof should be on the researchers to consider the effect of these factors on treatment efficacy and take the proper precautions to prevent treatment failure, unnecessary damage to the commodity, or waste of treatment resources.

Technical Abstract: This book chapter discusses factors that should be considered when conducting and interpreting research into heat phytosanitary treatments to avoid treatment failure. Heat treatments are the most susceptible of all major treatments to physical and biological variations. Minor differences in temperature may lead to failure of the treatment in killing all target pests. Variations in laboratory colonies of the same species may result in different treatment specifications once the research is concluded and implemented. Rearing conditions may affect susceptibility of the organisms to heat. Infestation method can affect the result. The methods used for determining control efficacy can result in treatment failure when applied in a regulatory setting. Conditioning the commodity to tolerate a heat treatment may result in some of the insects tolerating the treatment as well. The differences between research facilities and commercial treatment facilities may result in treatment failure when applied on a commercial scale. The burden should be on the researchers to consider the effect of these variables on treatment efficacy and take the proper precautions to prevent subsequent treatment failure, unnecessary damage to the commodity, or waste of resources.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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