Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #171908


item Hansen, James D
item Drake, Stephen
item Heidt, Mildred - Millie
item Watkins, Michele
item Watkins, Michele - Shelly
item TANG, J
item WANG, S

Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2005
Publication Date: 7/1/2005
Citation: Hansen, J.D., Drake, S.R., Heidt, M.L., Watkins, M.A., Tang, J., Wang, S. 2005. Evaluation of radio frequency-hot water treatments for postharvest control of codling moth in 'Bing' sweet cherries. HortTechnology. 15(3):613-616.

Interpretive Summary: Currently, cherries from the United States must undergo methyl bromide fumigation so that the fruits can be exported to Japan, a major market. Because of international agreements, the use of this fumigant may be discontinued. Postharvest thermal treatments have been proposed as a replacement for eliminating codling moths. Researchers at the USDA - ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, Washington, examined a combination radio frequency energy-hot water bath as a possible treatment against the codling moth. Control was obtained but at a treatment that caused significant damage to fruit quality. The results indicate that heat treatments alone may not be practical as a treatment to meet probit 9 quarantine security for cherries.

Technical Abstract: Quarantine regulations require domestic cherries, Prunus avium (L.) L., exported to Japan to be treated to control for codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). The current procedure, methyl bromide fumigation, may be discontinued because health, safety and environmental concerns. To examine a potential alternative method, 'Bing' sweet cherries were each infested with a codling moth larva, submerged in a 38 °C (100.4 °F) water bath for 6 min, then exposed to various temperatures generated by radio frequency and held at that temperature for differing times: 50 °C (122.0 °F) for 6 min., 51.6 °C (124.88 °F) for 4 min., 53.3 °C (127.94 °F) for 0.5 min., and 54.4 °C (129.92 °F) for 0.5 min). Insect mortality was evaluated 24 hrs after treatment and fruit quality was evaluated after treatment and after 14 days of storage at 1°C (33.8 °F). No larvae survived the 50 ° (122.0 °F) and 51.6 °C (124.88 °F) treatments. Fruit color of non-infested cherries was darkened as temperature increased. Stem color was severely impacted, even in a warm water bath of 38 °C (100.4 °F) for 6 min, as was fruit firmness at the same treatment. Quality loss increased after 14 days of treatment. The amount of pitting and bruising of cherries increased with temperature and again this increase was more evident after 14 days of storage.