718 PB 426 PHYTOTOXICITY OF METHYL BROMIDE FUMIGATION TO CITRUS FRUIT PACKED IN SHIPPING BOXES

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  • 1 USDA-ARS Postharvest Quality and Genetics Unit, Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, 2021 S. Peach Ave., Fresno, CA 93727

Commercially packed lemons (Citrus limon (L.) Burm.), grapefruit (C. paradisi Macfayden) and oranges (C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck) from CA and AZ were fumigated in corrugated fiberboard shipping boxes with methyl bromide (MB) at doses efficacious for controlling various postharvest insect pests. Fruit developed no rind injury when fumigated at 24 or 32 g MB/m3 for 2 hr at 21C. At 40 g MB fruit developed slight to moderate peel injury, and sometimes there were more decayed fruit. More rind injury developed at 48 gm MB, the injury was more severe, and there were more decays. Curing fruit for 3-4 days at 15-20C before fumigation, and extending the aeration period after fumigation from a few hours to 1 or 3 days reduced fruit injury. Early-season fruit were not injured as severely as late-season fruit. Lemons picked with green-colored peel but fumigated after they turned yellow (by holding at 13C for 4-10 weeks to degreen) were not injured as much as silver or yellow lemons.

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