Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/30/2006
Publication Date: 8/7/2006
Citation: Johnson, J.A. 2006. Non-chemical alternatives to fumigation for postharvest dried fruits and nuts. Meeting Abstract. pp. 10.
Technical Abstract: Nearly all dried fruits and nuts produced in the United States are grown in central California. Each year this diverse industry yields 2.5 to 3.5 million metric tons of product, worth about $2 billion. In addition to domestic sales, exports are a significant and vital portion of the market. Postharvest insects are a serious problem during marketing, usually requiring disinfestation treatments before distribution of product to both domestic and foreign markets. Although fumigants have been the treatment of choice in many cases, environmental and regulatory concerns over their continued use have generated interest in non-chemical alternatives. Identifying potential applications for non-chemical methods requires familiarity with processing and storage methods as well as marketing constraints within the industry. Of particular interest are physical and biological treatment alternatives such as temperature extremes, vacuum treatments, natural enemies, and combination treatments. Although no single non-chemical alternative could serve as a direct substitute for fumigation, use of non-chemical treatments for specialized applications would substantially reduce fumigant use. An overview of recent research on these methods and the potential applicability of each will be presented.