Submitted to: Revista Industrial y Agricola de Tucuman
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/29/2008
Publication Date: 12/15/2008
Citation: Follett, P.A., Willink, E., Gastaminza, G. 2008. Irradiation as an Alternative Quarantine Treatment to Control Fruit Flies in Exported Blueberries. Revista Industrial y Agricola de Tucuman. 85(2): 43-45
Interpretive Summary: Argentina produces a variety of temperate and subtropical fruits and vegetables, but export of these crops has been hindered due to limited market access, particularly to the United States, and lack of adequate quarantine treatments to meet the phytosanitary requirements of the importing countries while maintaining quality. Irradiation has potential as an alternative quarantine treatment for blueberries and other fruits, and as a new treatment for a variety of other fruits and vegetables. Recently approved generic irradiation doses for broad groups of insects in the U.S. will accelerate approvals for export blueberry and other fruit crops from Argentina. Irradiation is often less damaging to fruit than cold or fumigation quarantine treatments, providing a higher quality product that should compete well in the marketplace.
Technical Abstract: Blueberry is an ideal export crop for Argentina using irradiation. There are several key steps to ensure the success in opening export markets in the U.S. for premium-quality irradiated blueberries. Argentina must (1) develop appropriate regulatory framework for the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment for fresh commodities, (2) send an initiating letter to U.S. regulatory officials expressing interest in exporting the fresh commodities of interest using irradiation, (3) conduct fruit quality and shelf life studies; and (4) refine currently approved insect irradiation treatments to lower the dose thus ensuring optimal quality and reducing treatment cost. A similar process will open markets in other countries to Argentine blueberries and other fruits and vegetables if those countries accept phytosanitary application of irradiation for fresh horticultural products.