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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #133532


item Drake, Stephen
item Neven, Lisa

Submitted to: Journal of Food Processing and Preservation Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2002
Publication Date: 1/2/2003
Citation: Drake, S.R., Neven, L.G., Sanderson, P. 2003. Carbohydrate concentrations of apples and pears as influenced by irradiation as a quarantine treatment. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation Research. 27:165-172.

Interpretive Summary: Export of agricultural commodities to foreign markets is of major interest to the United States. Fumigation of fruit products with methyl bromide to meet quarantine requirements imposed by foreign countries for insect pest control has met with varying degrees of success, due primarily to injury to the host fruit. At the present time, regardless of the problems associated with fumigants, MeBr is the only treatment accepted by a number of countries that constitute important markets for fruits and vegetables. The future of MeBr as a quarantine treatment is in doubt. To continue to export agricultural commodities, an acceptable alternative to MeBr must be developed. Treatment of fresh produce with radiation is a viable alternative for MeBr. Research has been conducted on irradiation of fruits and vegetables for disinfestation of both insects and decay causing microbes. Despite research indicating that the use of irradiation as advantageous as a quarantine treatment, with little or no quality losses and approval by the FDA, there is still public concern. This research was conducted to determine the influence of irradiation, at levels sufficient to meet quarantine, on one chemical aspect (carbohydrates) of fresh tree fruits.

Technical Abstract: Commercially packed apples (Fuji and Granny Smith) and pears (Anjou and Bosc) were exposed to radiation treatments at doses of 0, 150, 300, 600 and 900 Gys. After radiation, apples were stored for 90 120 and 150 days, while pears were stored for 30 and 90 days in regular atmosphere at 1 C. Analysis of carbohydrate content of the fruit flesh was conducted after each storage. Radiation treatment did not influence the total or individual (sucrose, glucose,fructose, sorbitol) carbohydrate levels in either apples or pears, regardless of the cultivar. Carbohydrate levels changed in both apples and pears as storage time progressed and these changes were cultivar dependent. Radiation can be used as a quarantine treatment in apples and pears with no loss in carbohydrates (sugars).