Submitted to: International Congress of Entomology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/16/2012
Publication Date: 8/19/2012
Citation: Walse, S.S. 2012. Recent advances in fumigation for control of insect pests in dried fruits and nuts. International Congress of Entomology. S1202TU17.
Technical Abstract: United States agricultural industries are facing, with increasing frequency, environmental and pest-related food safety requirements that are fundamentally difficult to balance. Failure to properly disinfest commodities in trade and marketing channels can result in insect- and microbial-derived damage that limits economic profitability, curtails market access, and spread plant, animal, and human illnesses. Despite a historic precedence of effectiveness, the use of chemicals, including fumigants, for disinfestation and disinfection of commodities is under close regulatory supervision due to consumer consciousness regarding unintended health effects resulting from chemical residues. Regardless of personal viewpoints, or merit of scientific backing, chemical treatment advocacy and opposition is expected to continue. This article describes experimental infrastructure and critical research elements of the Crop Protection and Quality Research Unit of the USDA-ARS-SJVASC that specifically address this contemporary dilemma, one that will only become more challenging and important as the role of the United States in feeding the world expands over the next decades. In particular, recent developments in postharvest chamber fumigations are presented, such as methyl bromide and alternative phytosanitary treatments for insect control, strategies to limit or reduce emission of fumigants to the atmosphere, and novel technologies for residue removal.