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The 2011 ASHS Annual Conference

Use of Irradiation as a Quarantine Treatment for Tropical Fruit and Vegetable Crops

Tuesday, September 27, 2011: 7:45 AM
Kohala 4
Peter Follett, Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Hilo, HI
The export of many of Hawaii’s fresh fruits and vegetables to the U.S. mainland is regulated due to the presence of quarantine insect pests. Hawaii has export approvals for 17 fruits and 7 vegetables using irradiation to disinfest the commodities of any quarantine insects. Hawaii Pride LLC (Keaau, HI) is the first commercial irradiator designed to treat fresh commodities for phytosanitary purposes. During the past 10 years, sweet potatoes, papayas, dragon fruit, bananas, longan, rambutan, and mangos have received postharvest irradiation treatment before shipment to the U.S. mainland. Other commodities such as basil and curry leaf may be irradiated to prevent rejection due to hitchhiker pests. Advantages and drawbacks of irradiation will be discussed. Broad commodity tolerance and the availability of generic irradiation doses to treat almost any group of insects on any fresh commodity make irradiation an attractive treatment option. The talk will include a virtual tour of the Hawaii Pride LLC irradiation facility.