Phytotoxic Response of `Dancy' Tangerine to High-temperature, Moist, Forced-air Treatment for Fruit Fly Disinfestation

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Subtropical Agricultural Research Laboratory, 2301 South International Boulevard, Weslaco, TX 78596

Early season degreened `Dancy' tangerines (Citrus reticulata Blanco) were size graded and subjected to high-temperature, moist, forced-air (HTMFA) treatments using air at 45, 46, or 48C for 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours. The phytotoxic response of fruit to the beat treatments was evaluated immediately after treatment and weekly during 3 weeks of cold (4C) storage. Mortality of nonfeeding, third instar Mexican fruit fly [(Anastrepha ludens (Loew)] larvae was estimated for each time-temperature heat treatment combination in water baths that simulated the heating and cooling profiles of heat-treated fruit. Unacceptable phytotoxic symptoms, such as inferior flavor and darkened flavedo tissue, were observed when fruit was treated at 46 or 48C. Fruit heated with 45C forced moist air had flavedo color change(ΔL*)percent juice yield, soluble solids concentration, and flavor ratings that were statistically similar to ratings for unheated, control fruit. An HTMFA treatment of 3 or 4 hours at 45, 46, or 48C and subsequent cooling was sufficient to kill 100% of naked larvae in water baths. Market quality of fruit was maintained after a 4-hour HTMFA treatment at 45C, and 100% mortality of naked larvae occurred after 3 hours at 45C.

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