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  • Author or Editor: Eric Jang x
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Heat treatments have been used to control diseases and insect infestation of fruit. The development of heat treatments have been the result of empirical experiments based on the efficacy on the insects coupled with parallel experiments on the phytotoxicity of host fruit. Such heat treatments while approved as quarantine treatments have occasionally produced fruit of poor quality. Thermal processing of foods, an established science, employs kinetics of enzyme inactivation, thermal death times evaluation of various time-temperature relationships to determine the adequacy of the heat process to ensure the safety of the product as well as minimize over-processing to preserve the products quality. There is a need to develop thermo-processing guidelines in the development of quarantine heat treatments and also to enhance product quality. We will report methods that we have developed to determine the thermal death kinetics of insects, fruit pathogens and kinetics for thermotolerance of the fruit.

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Papayas (Carica papaya L.) that were infested with eggs and first instar larvae of the Oriental fruit fly (Dacus dorsalis Hendel) showed a reduction in the number of insects present when the fruits were subsequently wrapped for at least 96 hr with plastic shrink-wrap film. In a related study, individually wrapped mangoes (Mangifera indica L.) that were artificially infested with larvae of Drosophila melanogaster no longer harbored living larvae when the wrap remained for 72 hr. These studies suggest that further development of individual film wrapping techniques may provide a method for eliminating insect infestation from some edible fruits.

Open Access