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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Commodity Protection and Quality Research » Research » Research Project #440945

Research Project: Postharvest Treatments for Insect Control in California Pomegranates

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality Research

Project Number: 2034-43000-043-040-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2021
End Date: Jun 30, 2022

Objective:
Conduct postharvest research to demonstrate the efficacy of postharvest treatments toward key insect pests of California pomegranates exported to Australia and New Zealand.

Approach:
Utilize a cooperative effort between USDA-ARS, USDA-APHIS, California industry, and foreign counterparts to address pest-related barriers to export. Particular attention will be paid to the expansion and retention of export markets. Pests will be targeted with postharvest techniques including, fumigation and low-oxygen treatments. Exploratory studies will be used to identify the efficacious parameters for methyl bromide, phosphine, ethyl formate, and low-oxygen treatments. Research will follow with pilot- and commercial- scale confirmatory testing concomitant with quality and microbiological evaluations. Treatment parameters will be tailored to infrastructural and logistical requirements of industry and contemporary methods of production, storage, and distribution. 2021-22 research involves optimization of methyl bromide treatments.