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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 Title: Generic Irradiation Quarantine Treatments: The Next Steps

Author
item Follett, Peter

Submitted to: Australasian Postharvest Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 13, 2007
Publication Date: December 17, 2007
Citation: Follett, P.A. 2007. Generic Irradiation Quarantine Treatments: The Next Steps. Proc. 2007 Australasian Postharvest Conf. 5 pp.

Interpretive Summary: USDA-APHIS published a landmark rule in 2007 providing generic irradiation quarantine treatments. The rule approved irradiation doses of 150 Gy for any tephritid fruit fly and 400 Gy for all other insects except the pupa and adult stages of Lepidoptera. The generic irradiation treatments apply to all fresh horticultural commodities. We discuss three areas of future irradiation research in light of the new generic treatments including (1) development of generic doses below 400 Gy for groups of insects other than fruit flies, (2) reduction of doses for specific commodities to shorten treatment time and minimize any adverse effects of irradiation treatment on quality, and (3) demonstration that boxes of mixed fruits can be treated while meeting dosing requirements. Hawaii has been using generic doses to export tropical fruit since 2000. India recently began exporting mangoes to the U.S using irradiation, becoming the first country to use the newly-approved generic doses. Thailand was recently approved to export 6 tropical fruits using the new generic doses. Other countries are lining up.

Technical Abstract: In 2006, USDA-APHIS published a landmark rule providing generic irradiation quarantine treatments. The rule approved irradiation doses of 150 Gy for any tephritid fruit fly and 400 Gy for all other insects except the pupa and adult stages of Lepidoptera. Therefore, if a pest risk assessment demonstrates that no pupae or adult Lepidoptera are associated with a commodity, export approval can be forthcoming with no further research. The generic irradiation treatments apply to all fresh horticultural commodities. We discuss three areas of future irradiation research in light of the new generic treatments including (1) development of generic doses below 400 Gy for groups of insects other than fruit flies, (2) reduction of doses for specific commodities to shorten treatment time and minimize any adverse effects of irradiation treatment on quality, and (3) demonstration that boxes of mixed fruits can be treated while meeting dosing requirements. Hawaii has been exporting fruits and vegetables to the U.S. mainland using irradiation since 2000. India recently began exporting mangoes to the U.S using irradiation, becoming the first country to use the newly-approved generic doses.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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