Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/12/2001
Publication Date: 8/20/2001
Citation: Neven, L.G. 2001. Effects of physical postharvest treatments on insects. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: As concerns about the safety of our food supply increase along with concerns about the impact of agricultural chemicals on our environment, the development of non-chemical quarantine treatments to meet export requirements has become increasingly necessary. The types of physical treatments used have been largely determined by commodity tolerances and processing practices. The most common physical treatments use temperature extremes such as heat (above 40 deg. C) and cold (below 10 deg. C). Other physical treatments commonly include the use of controlled or modified atmospheres (low oxygen, elevated carbon dioxide). Current technology has led to investigations in the application of energy to control infesting insects. These treatments include ionizing radiation, microwaves, ultraviolet radiation, infrared radiation, radio frequency, electron beam, X- rays & electricity. Although the effects of these physical treatments can impact commodity quality, the goal of the treatments is to kill infesting (real or in certain instances, potential) insects to meet quarantine requirements. The effects of physical treatments on insect mortality and fecundity will be discussed.