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Title: IRRADIATION AS A PHYTOSANITARY TREATMENT FOR FRESH HORTICULTURAL COMMODITIES: RESEARCH AND REGULATIONS

Author
item Follett, Peter
item GRIFFIN, ROBERT

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2005
Publication Date: 1/20/2006
Citation: Follett, P.A., Griffin, R. 2006. Irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment for fresh horticultural commodities: research and regulations. In C.H. Sommers, and X Fan eds., Food Irradiation and Research and Technology, Blackwell Publishing, Ames, Iowa. P. 143-168.

Interpretive Summary: Irradiation is a versatile technology to disinfest fresh and durable agricultural commodities of quarantine pests. Irradiation is broadly effective against insects and mites, cost competitive with other disinfestation methods (such as fumigation, heat and cold) and fast. In this review we provide an update and synthesis of previous information, and discuss current trends in the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment, with an emphasis on research methodology and the regulatory framework.

Technical Abstract: Quarantine or phytosanitary treatments eliminate, sterilize or kill regulatory pests in exported commodities to prevent their introduction and establishment into new areas. Irradiation is a versatile technology to disinfest fresh and durable agricultural commodities of quarantine pests. Irradiation is broadly effective against insects and mites, cost competitive with other disinfestation methods (such as fumigation, heat and cold) and fast. Irradiation generally does not significantly reduce commodity quality at the doses used to control insect pests, and may even extend shelf-life. Additionally, irradiation can be applied to the commodity after packaging. Unlike other disinfestation techniques, irradiation does not need to kill the pest immediately to provide quarantine security, and therefore live (but sterile) insects may occur with the exported commodity making inspection for the target pests redundant as a confirmation of treatment application and efficacy. This places an added level of importance on the certification procedures for irradiation facilities and proper documentation accompanying each shipment confirming treatment at approved doses. It also places an onus on researchers to insure that the minimum absorbed dose approved for each quarantine pest has an adequate margin of safety.In this review we provide an update and synthesis of previous information, and discuss current trends in the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment, with an emphasis on research methodology and the regulatory framework.