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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #339471

Research Project: Methyl Bromide Replacement: Post-harvest Treatment of Perishable Commodities

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: CA requirements for postharvest pest control

item Liu, Yong Biao

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2019
Publication Date: 2/12/2020
Citation: Liu, Y.-B. 2020. CA requirements for postharvest pest control. In: Gil, M.I., Beaudry, R., editors. Controlled and Modified Atmospheres for Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce. San Diego, CA: Academic Press of Elsevier. p. 65-74.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Research on CA treatment for pest control, in general, has not been successful in the past mainly due to the lack of tolerance by fresh products. There are great variations in susceptibility among different pests and in tolerance among different fresh products to CA treatment. Therefore, the most important requirement of CA treatment for pest control is to match a susceptible pest with a tolerant fresh product in order to develop successful CA treatments against selective pests on specific fresh products. Products with slow physiological activities and long storage and shelf life are more suitable for CA treatment. Products such as dormant rootstocks, bulbs, and tubers which have high tolerance to low oxygen and are valued for vitality instead of cosmetic appearance also offer good opportunities for using CA treatment to control pests. CA treatment is a dynamic system as fresh products consume oxygen and release CO2 and other volatiles in respiration and therefore may require strict control of atmosphere composition not only to ensure efficacy for pest control but to prevent possible injuries to the treated products. These control measurements may include regulating O2 levels and scrubbing for CO2 or/and ethylene. Cold storage of harvested fresh products reduces physiological activities of the products and thereby increases their tolerance to CA treatment, and therefore may need to be used to prevent or reduce injuries by CA treatment. The CA treatment regime include time and temperature also need to be consistent with requirement for maintaining proper shelf-life of fresh products. Research on CA treatment for pest control is still very limited to adequately explore its potential for pest control and, therefore, more research is warranted.