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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Pre and Postharvest Treatment of Tropical and Other Commodities for Quarantine Security, Quality Maintenance, and Value Enhancement

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Title: Cold storage enhances the efficacy and margin of security in postharvest irradiation treatments against fruit flies

Authors
item Follett, Peter
item Snook, Kirsten -

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 25, 2013
Publication Date: October 11, 2013
Citation: Follett, P.A., Snook, K. 2013. Cold storage enhances the efficacy and margin of security in postharvest irradiation treatments against fruit flies. Journal of Economic Entomology. 106(5):2035-2042.

Interpretive Summary: Many insects are sensitive to extended periods of cold temperatures. Cold storage for a few days to several weeks during transit to markets is a common feature of many fresh fruit and vegetable export and distribution systems and an underappreciated cause of mortality in quarantine pests that can enhance the quarantine security provided by postharvest treatments. The combined effect of cold storage and irradiation was examined in a radiation tolerant fruit fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (melon fly), and a radiation intolerant fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Survivorship differences were highly significant for the effects of substrate (diet > papaya), temperature (11oC > 4oC), and irradiation (0 > 30 Gy). Few Mediterranean fruit flies survived in any cold storage treatment after receiving a radiation dose of 30 Gy. No melon fly larvae survived to the adult stage after irradiation and 11 days cold storage at 4oC or 11oC. Cold storage enhances the efficacy and widens the margin of safety in postharvest irradiation treatments. Potentially cold storage and irradiation can be used in combination to reduce the dose level of a quarantine radiation treatment.

Technical Abstract: Many insects are sensitive to extended periods of cold temperatures. Cold storage for a few days to several weeks during transit to markets is a common feature of many fresh fruit and vegetable export and distribution systems and an underappreciated cause of mortality in quarantine pests that can enhance the quarantine security provided by postharvest treatments such as fumigation, heat, or irradiation. The combined effect of cold storage and irradiation was examined in a radiation tolerant fruit fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (melon fly), and a radiation intolerant fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Third instars on diet or in papaya were treated with a radiation dose of 30 Gy and stored at 4oC or 11oC for 3-13 d and held for adult emergence. For both fruit fly species, survival of third instars to the adult stage generally decreased with increasing cold storage duration at 4oC or 11oC in diet or papaya. Survivorship differences were highly significant for the effects of substrate (diet > papaya), temperature (11oC > 4oC), and irradiation (0 > 30 Gy). Few Mediterranean fruit flies survived in any cold storage treatment after receiving a radiation dose of 30 Gy. No melon fly larvae survived to the adult stage after irradiation and 11 days cold storage at 4oC or 11oC. Cold storage enhances the efficacy and widens the margin of safety in postharvest irradiation treatments. Potentially cold storage and irradiation can be used in combination to reduce the dose level of a quarantine radiation treatment.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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