Low Temperature Refrigeration as an Alternative Anti-Pest Treatment of Dates

Open access

Abstract

Large amounts of dates are produced and consumed around the world each year. Apomyelois ceratoniae causes main losses during storage and export of date fruit. Fumigation is the most widely used treatment to prevent postharvest losses. However, this treatment negatively affects the biological value of dates, environmental and economic parameters of production. Widespread fumigation agent methyl bromide is toxic to a human body and contributes to the destruction of the ozone layer. The aim of the current work was to find a new method based on the use of low temperature refrigeration to reduce the pest and insect infestation preserving the nutritive value of dates during cold storage at the same time. A. ceratoniae mortality under different temperatures and dates respiration rate, sugar, organic acids, pectic substances content and sensorial characteristics were studied. The results indicate that at −18 °С the A. ceratonie larva dies within 2 h, the eggs and larvae - within 24 h respectively. Thus, it is clearly shown that there is no need in using chemicals or irradiation to prevent dates pests. Physicochemical and organoleptic proprieties of dates were satisfactory during 360 d at −18 °С and during 180 d at +4 °С. The low temperature refrigeration and storage at −18 °С is recommended for dates to prevent pests and quality losses. It is apparently advantageous for environment and climate if compared with other anti-pest treatment variants.

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Environmental and Climate Technologies

The Journal of Riga Technical University

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