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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: POSTHARVEST TREATMENT OF TROPICAL COMMODITIES FOR QUARANTINE SECURITY, QUALITY MAINTENANCE, AND VALUE ENHANCEMENT

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Title: Irradiation for Postharvest Control of Quarantine Insects

Authors
item Follett, Peter
item Yang, M - NAT. CHUNG HSING UNIV.
item Wei, D - NAT. CHUNG HSING UNIV.
item Lu, K - NAT. CHUNG HSING UNIV.

Submitted to: Formosan Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 6, 2006
Publication Date: March 22, 2007
Citation: Follett, P.A., Yang, M.M., Wei, D., Lu, K. 2007. Irradiation for postharvest control of quarantine insects. Formosan Entomologist 27: 1-15.

Interpretive Summary: Generic irradiation treatments have been approved in the USA to control broad groups of insects in all commodities. The approved generic doses are 150 Gy for tephritid fruit flies and 400 Gy for all insects except Lepidoptera pupae and adults (which may require higher doses). Generic irradiation treatments will accelerate the approval of irradiation quarantine treatments for specific crops and expedite new trade in agricultural products because research will no longer be needed for each quarantine pest and commodity. The availability of generic treatments makes irradiation an attractive option compared with other quarantine treatments. Taiwan does not currently allow irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment for agricultural crops. The potential for this technology is discussed using longan exports to the USA as a case study.

Technical Abstract: Interest in the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment for agricultural commodities is growing worldwide, particularly since international IPPC and CODEX standards now endorse and facilitate trade based on this disinfestation method. Irradiation is broadly effective against insects and mites at doses that do not compromise quality of most commodities. Unlike other disinfestation techniques, irradiation does not need to kill the pest immediately to provide quarantine security, and therefore live but sterile or not viable insects may occur with the exported commodity making inspection for the target pests redundant. Generic irradiation treatments have been approved in the USA to control broad groups of insects in all commodities. The approved generic doses are 150 Gy for tephritid fruit flies and 400 Gy for all insects except Lepidoptera pupae and adults (which may require higher doses). Generic irradiation treatments will accelerate the approval of irradiation quarantine treatments for specific crops and expedite new trade in agricultural products because research will no longer be needed for each quarantine pest and commodity. The availability of generic treatments makes irradiation an attractive option compared with other quarantine treatments.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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