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L. Eric Hinesley and Layne K. Snelling

Dormant branches of Fraser fir [Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.] Christmas trees were subjected to single doses of gamma radiation at levels ranging from 0 to 5.0 kGy (0 to 500 kRad). Significant needle loss resulted at doses ≥0.10 kGy and increased with radiation intensity. Irradiation discolored foliage and accelerated drying. Irradiation does not appear to be a viable way to meet insect quarantine requirements on cut Fraser fir Christmas trees.

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Miguel H. Ahumada, Elizabeth J. Mitcham, and Denise G. Moore

Non-SO2-fumigated `Thompson Seedless' table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) were stored at 5 or 20 °C for 6 and 4.5 days, respectively, in air or one of four insecticidal controlled atmospheres (ICA); 0.5% O2 + 35% CO2; 0.5% O2 + 45% CO2; 0.5% O2 + 55% CO2; or 100% CO2. The fruit were evaluated for weight loss, berry firmness, soluble solids concentration (SSC), titratable acidity, berry shattering, rachis browning, berry browning, and volatiles (acetaldehyde and ethanol). Fruit quality was not affected at 5 °C with the exception of greater rachis browning in fruit treated with 0.5% O2 + 45% CO2. At 20 °C, ICA treatments maintained greener rachis compared to the air control; however, SSC was reduced in the fruit treated with 55% and 100% CO2. At both temperatures, ICA induced the production of high levels of acetaldehyde and ethanol. Ethanol concentrations were two-thirds lower at 5 °C than at 20 °C. Consumer preference was negatively affected by some ICA treatments for grapes kept at 20 °C, but not by any of the treatments at 5 °C. Preliminary data for mortality of omnivorous leafroller pupae (Platynota stultana Walshingham), western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande) adults and larvae, and pacific spider mite (Tetranychus pacificus McGregor) adults and larvae indicate that many of the ICA treatments would provide significant insect control.

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W.R. Miller and R.E. McDonald

Carambolas (Averrhoa carambola L.) must be treated with an approved insect quarantine procedure such as cold treatment before shipment to certain markets. Condition and quality of mature-green (MG) and slightly yellow (SY) fruit were determined after they were: 1) treated with ethylene at 0.1 ml·L-1 for 48 hours (C2H4), 2) subjected to cold treatment (CT) at 1 °C for 15 days, and 3) held in storage at 5 °C for 7 days plus 3 days at 15 °C. Ethylene-treated fruit were softer and yellowness was enhanced compared with non-C2H4-treated fruit. MG fruit were firmer and lost more mass following CT and storage than SY fruit. C2H4 treatment increased the severity of peel scald, stem-end breakdown (SEB), and fin browning but had no effect on pitting. CT increased the severity of scald and pitting, and the severity of SEB, but did not affect fin browning. Peel scald, pitting, SEB, and fin browning were more severe in MG than in SY fruit at the final evaluation. C2H4-treated fruit had lower total soluble solids concentration, higher titratable acidity and pH, and a less preferred flavor and texture than control fruit. We conclude that carambola fruit should be selected at harvest at the slight-yellow stage (3% to 25% of surface area) instead of at the mature-green stage. Fruit to be cold-stored should not be C2H4 treated due to enhanced mold development and severity of SEB.