Location: Crop Improvement and Protection ResearchTitle: Methyl benzoate fumigation for control of postharvest pests and its effects on apple quality
Submitted to: Journal of Applied Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/29/2019
Publication Date: 12/30/2019
Citation: Yang, X., Liu, Y.-B., Feng, Y., Zhang, A. 2019. Methyl benzoate fumigation for control of post-harvest pests and its effects on apple quality. Journal of Applied Entomology. 144(3):191-200. https://doi.org/10.1111/jen.12723.
Interpretive Summary: Methyl benzoate is a naturally occurring compound in many plants that was recently found to be a newly discovered, natural pesticide. Western flower thrips is a common pest on fruit and vegetables in U.S. but is a quarantine pest on some overseas market including Taiwan. This study, evaluated methyl benzoate fumigation for its effectiveness against the thrips and its effects on postharvest quality of three apple varieties. Complete control of thrips was achieved in 8, 16, and 24 h fumigations at 25, 13, and 2°C temperatures, respectively. A 24 h large fumigation treatment resulted in complete control of thrips and had no negative effects on visual quality of apples after 4 weeks of cold storage. The study suggests that MB has potential as a fumigant for postharvest control of thrips on apples and may also has potential to control other postharvest pests on fresh commodities.
Technical Abstract: Methyl benzoate (MB) is a newly discovered natural insecticide. Western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis, is an important pest on fruit, vegetables, and ornamental crops in the U.S. but is quarantined in some overseas market. Overseas markets, e.g., Taiwan, require imported U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable including apples to be treated to control this pest. We evaluated MB fumigation for efficacy in controlling WFT and its effects on postharvest quality of apples at different temperatures. Complete control of WFT was achieved in 8, 16, and 24 h at 25, 13, and 2°C, respectively. A 24-h confirmatory MB fumigation treatment at 2°C resulted in 100% mortality of WFT with no negative impact on visual quality of apples of three apples varieties 4 weeks after MB fumigation. This study suggests that MB fumigation has potential to be an alternative treatment for postharvest pest control on fresh products.