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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #383443

Research Project: Methyl Bromide Alternative Treatments for Perishable and Stored Products

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: Nitric oxide fumigation for postharvest control of pests and pathogens

item Liu, Yong Biao
item OH, SOOKYUNG - Former ARS Employee
item Yang, Xiangbing

Submitted to: Controlled Atmosphere & Fumigation in Stored Products International Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/13/2021
Publication Date: 8/23/2021
Citation: Liu, Y.-B., Oh, S., Yang, X. 2021. Nitric oxide fumigation for postharvest control of pests and pathogens. In: Jaya, D.S., Jian, F., editors. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Controlled Atmosphere and Fumigation in Stored Products, August 22-27, 2021, Winnipeg, Canada. p. 288-295.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Nitric oxide (NO) is a recently discovered fumigant and NO fumigation has been demonstrated to be effective against all insects and mites in recent years. It is effective against all pests tested to date, including external and internal pests, fresh and stored product insects, and mites. However, as NO reacts with O2 spontaneously to form nitrogen dioxide (NO2), NO fumigation must be conducted under ultralow oxygen conditions. As it is impractical to remove all oxygen, NO fumigation always has NO2 as a result of interaction of NO with residual oxygen in fumigation chamber. In the last few years, NO2 was demonstrated to be effective against microbes. Effective control of Aspergillus flavus spores was achieved in NO and NO2 fumigations. Complete control of bacteria and fungi on stored almonds and peanuts were also achieved in NO2 fumigations. Therefore, NO fumigation has potential to control both pest and pathogens. When conducted properly, NO fumigation is also safe for use on fresh products and helps to maintain storage/shelf-life of fresh fruits. NO fumigation does not leave toxic residues on fresh or stored products. These studies indicate that NO fumigation is feasible to control both insects and microbes in a single fumigation treatment. This is important in expanding potential applications of NO fumigation and making NO fumigation more cost effective for potential commercial applications.