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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Phytosanitary Heat Treatments

item Heather, Neil
item Hallman, Guy

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2007
Publication Date: 12/21/2007
Citation: Heather, N., Hallman, G.J. 2007. Phytosanitary Heat Treatments. In: Pest Management and Phytosanitary Trade Barriers. Wallingford, UK:CAB International, p. 111-131.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This book chapter by Neil Heather and Guy Hallman, in “Pest Management and Phytosanitary Trade Barriers,” CABI Press, deals with disinfestations of food commodities. Disinfestation of food commodities with heat to satisfy phytosanitary requirements has the advantage of freedom from chemical residues and satisfies consumers generally concerned in this way, as well as those who are committed to ‘organically produced’ foods. It has the potential to disinfest commodities to the highest standards of quarantine security, but requires a temperature/time ‘window’ in which a pest is killed but where there is no unacceptable treatment injury to the commodity. Treatment time is typically short and capital cost can be low if simple hot water dips are satisfactory. Disadvantages include the need either to treat the produce immediately after harvest or it must be warmed and re-cooled. Hot air treatment of fresh commodities is complex and relies heavily on modern electronic technology. Consequently, it involves expensive standing equipment, although less complex than irradiation with a gamma- or x-ray source. We see heat as an essential option for disinfestation and for phytosanitary purposes into the foreseeable future.

Last Modified: 10/20/2017
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