Evaluation of Radio Frequency–Hot Water Treatments for Postharvest Control of Codling Moth in `Bing' Sweet Cherries

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  • 1 USDA-ARS-YARL, 5230 Konnowac Pass Road, Wapato, WA 98951.
  • | 2 USDA-ARS-TFRL, 1104 N. Western Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801.
  • | 3 Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6120.

Quarantine regulations require domestic sweet cherries (Prunus avium) exported to Japan to be treated to control codling moth [Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)]. The current procedure, methyl bromide fumigation, may be discontinued because of health, safety, and environmental concerns. To examine a potential alternative method, `Bing' sweet cherries were each infested with a codling moth larva, submerged in a 38 °C water bath for 6 minutes pretreatment, then exposed to various temperatures generated by radio frequency and held at that temperature for different times: 50 °C for 6 minutes, 51.6 °C for 4 minutes, 53.3 °C for 0.5 minutes, and 54.4 °C for 0.5 minutes. Insect mortality was evaluated 24 hours after treatment and fruit quality was evaluated after treatment and after 7 and 14 days of storage at 1 °C. No larvae survived at the 50 and 51.6 °C treatments. Fruit color of non-infested cherries was darkened as temperature increased. Stem color was severely impacted after 7 days of storage, even in a warm water bath of 38 °C for 6 minutes, as was fruit firmness at the same treatment. Fruit quality loss increased after 14 days of storage, compared to after 7 days of storage. The amount of pitting and bruising of cherries increased with temperature and again this increase was more evident after 14 days of storage.

Contributor Notes

To whom correspondence should be addressed: James D. Hansen: phone: 509-454-6573; fax: 509-454-5646; e-mail: jimbob@yarl.ars.usda.gov
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