Controlled-atmosphere Effects on Blueberry Maggot and Lowbush Blueberry Fruit

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  • 1 Agriculture Canada, Research Station, Kentville, NS B4N 1J5, Canada

Larvae of the blueberry maggot (Rhagoletis mendax Curran) were raised on apples (Malus domestics Borkh. cv. Idared), and exposed larvae were treated 48 hours with CO concentrations ranging from 0% to 100% at O concentrations of 2%, 5%, or 20% (0% for the 100% CO) at 5 or 21C. Blueberry maggot survival was reduced to 10% when the larvae were subjected to CO concentrations > 45% at 21C. Fumigation was more effective at 21C than at 5C. Oxygen at 2% or 5% did not reduce larval survival when compared with treatments containing 20% O. In a separate experiment, six commercial shipments, each consisting of four hundred eighty 0.5-liter containers of infested lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium angustlfolium Ait.), were placed in a large fiberglass tank and fumigated with 54% CO at 21C. The blueberries were sampled for quality and larval survival after 24 and 48 hours of CO treatment. Atter 48 hours, 9% of the blueberry maggots in infested blueberries survived fumigation with 54% CO, while 68% of maggots survived in air. The quality of fumigated lowbush blueberries was not adversely affected by fumigation with 54% CO for up to 48 hours, as indicated by marketable berries, berry weight, split berries, shriveled berries, epicuticular wax (bloom), firmness, soluble solids and titratable acid concentrations, offflavors, and skin browning.

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