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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Non-chemical Alternatives for Post-harvest Pests of Fresh Fruits, Dried Fruits, Tree Nuts, and Other Durable Commodities

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality Research

Title: Low pressure/low temperature treatments: insect efficacy and apple quality

item Johnson, Judy
item Jiao, S
item Tang, J
item Mattingson, D
item Fellman, J
item Davenport, T
item Wang, S

Submitted to: International Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/2013
Publication Date: 11/4/2013
Citation: Johnson, J.A., Jiao, S., Tang, J., Mattingson, D.S., Fellman, J.K., Davenport, T.S., Wang, S. 2013. Low pressure/low temperature treatments: insect efficacy and apple quality. International Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions. 27.1-4.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Because U.S. apples, pears and cherries may be infested with codling moth, they require fumigation with methyl bromide before export to certain markets. Although quarantine and pre-shipment treatments are currently allowable under the Montreal Protocol, there is growing concern that this exemption will eventually be lost. Consequently, alternative treatment protocols are being considered. Low pressure treatments, coupled with low temperatures and carefully regulated humidity (LPLT), have been shown to prevent product deterioration caused by fungal decay, and prevent shriveling and fruit ripening during storage. This project looks at using these treatments to disinfest stone fruits of the various life stages of the codling moth. Fifth instar larvae and pupae were found to be the life stage most tolerant to LPLT treatments. Dose response studies with 5th instar larvae at 12 mm Hg and 13C estimated quarantine security would be obtained with a 17 day treatment. Quality studies using 'Red Delicious' apples treated at 10 mm Hg and 10C suggest that color, firmness, titratable acidity, soluble solids content, and weight loss were maintained at acceptable levels after 15 days of exposure. The results suggest that LPLT technology has potential as an alternative, non-chemical disinfestation treatment method for apples.

Last Modified: 10/15/2017
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