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

Open access


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.

[1] Muizniece I., Timma L., Blumberga A., Blumberga D. The methodology for assessment of bioeconomy efficiency. Energy Procedia 2016:95:482-486. doi:

[2] Kubule A., Komisarova T., Blumberga D. Optimization Methodology for Complete Use of Bio-resources. Energy Procedia 2017:113:28-34. doi:

[3] Kittipongvises S., Chavalparit O., Sutthirat C. Greenhouse Gases and Energy Intensity of Granite Rock Mining Operations in Thailand: A Case of Industrial Rock-Construction. Environmental and Climate Technologies 2016:18(1):64-75. doi:

[4] Kiprushkina E. I., Baranenko D. A., Kolodyaznaya V. S. A Comparative Study of Fuel Use and Income Analysis of Potato Production with Bacteria-antagonists in Leningrad Region of Russia. Energy Procedia 2017:113:194-200. doi:

[5] Kiprushkina E. I., Baranenko D. A. Increasing of food and bioenergy potato resources by microbial influence on tubers phytohormonal status. Environmental and Climate Technologies 2014:14(1):36-40. doi:

[6] Vincevica-Gaile Z., Klavins M. Concentration of Elements in Food: How Can It Reflect Impact of Environmental and Other Influencing Factors? Environmental and Climate Technologies 2013:12(1):15-19. doi:

[7] Food and Agriculture Organization. Crop production and trade data. [Online]. Available: www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QC [Accessed 01.08.2017]

[8] Ahmed I. A., Ahmed A. W. K., Robinson R. K. Chemical composition of date varieties as influenced by the stage of ripening. Food Chem 1995:54:305-309. doi:

[9] Elleuch M., Besbes S., Roiseux O., Blecker C., Deroanne C., Drira N., Attia H. Date flesh: Chemical composition and characteristics of the dietary fiber. Food Chem 2008:111(3):676-682. doi:

[10] Boudries H., Kefalasa P., Hornero-Mendez D. Carotenoid composition of Algerian date varieties (Phoenix dactylifera) at different edible maturation stages. Food Chem 2007:101(4):1372-1377. doi:

[11] Al-Turki S., Shahba M. A., Stushnoff C. Diversity of antioxidant properties and phenolic content of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruit as affected by cultivar and location. J Food Agric Env 2010:8:253-260.

[12] Borochov-Neori H., Judeinstein S., Greenberg A., Volkova N., Rosenblat M., Aviram M. Antioxidant and Antiatherogenic Properties of Phenolic Acid and Flavonol Fractions of Fruits of ‘Amari’ and ‘Hallawi’ Date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Varieties. J Agric Food Chem 2015:63(12):3189-3195. doi:

[13] Kulkarni S. G., Vijayanand P., Aksha M., Reena P., Ramana K. V. R. Effect of dehydration on the quality and storage stability of immature dates (Pheonix dactylifera). Food Sci Technol 2008:41:278-283. doi:

[14] Al-Farsi M., Alasalvar C., Morris A., Baron M., Shahidi F. Compositional and sensory characteristics of three native sun-dried date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) varieties grown in Oman. J Agric Food Chem 2005:53:7586-7591. doi:

[15] Mansouri A., Embarek G., Kokkalou E., Kefalas P. Phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of the Algerian ripe date palm fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.). Food Chem 2005:89:411-420. doi:

[16] Scott H. G. Nutrition changes caused by pests in food. In: Ecology and Management of Food-Industry Pests. FDA Technical Bulletin 4. Arlington, VA: Association of Official Analytical Chemists, 1991:463-467.

[17] Dhouibi M. H. Gestion phytosanitaire intégrée des principaux Bio-agresseurs du palmier dattier, et particulièrement, les pyrales des dates. Tunis: Climat Pub, 2013. [In French].

[18] Sousa A., Faroni L., Guedes R., Totola M., Urruchi W. Ozone as a management alternative against phosphine-resistant insect pests of stored products. J Stored Prod Res 2008:44:379-385. doi:

[19] Yahia E. M., Kader A. A. Date (Phoenix dactylifera L.). In: Postharvest Biology and Technology of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Ltd., 2011.

[20] Ahmed M. S. H. Irradiation disinfestation and packaging of dates. In: Insect Disinfestation of Food and Agricultural Products by Irradiation. Vienna: IAEA, 1991.

[21] Bell C. H. Fumigation in the 21st century. Crop Protection 2000:19:563-569. doi:

[22] Aleid S. M., Dolan K., Siddiq M., Jeong S., Marks B. Effect of low‐energy X‐ray irradiation on physical, chemical, textural and sensory properties of Dates. Int J Food Sci Technol 2013:48(7):1453-1459. doi:

[23] Abo-El-Saad M. M., Elshafie H. A., Al Ajlan A. M., Bou-Khowh I. A. Non-chemical alternatives to methyl bromide against Ephestia cautella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae): microwave and ozone. Agric. Biol. J. of North America 2011:2(8):1222-1231. doi:

[24] Wakil W., Faleiro J. R., Miller T. A. (Eds.). Sustainable Pest Management in Date Palm: Current Status and Emerging Challenges. Springer, 2015.

[25] Navarro S. Postharvest treatment of dates. Stewart Postharvest Rev 2006:2:1-9. doi:

[26] Guizani N., Al-Saidi G. S., Rahman M. S., Bornaz S., Al-Alawi A. A. State diagram of dates: glass transition, freezing curve and maximal-freeze-concentration condition. J. Food Eng. 2010:99(1):92-97. doi:

[27] Heydari M., Izadi H. Effects of seasonal acclimation on cold tolerance and biochemical status of the carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae Zeller, last instar larvae. Bulletin of entomological research 2014:104(5):592-600. doi:

[28] Yahia E. M. (Ed.). Modified and controlled atmospheres for storage, transportation, and packaging of horticultural commodities. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Taylor & Francis, 2009.

[29] Yahia E. M. The Commercial Storage of Fruits Vegetables and Florist and Nursery Stocks. Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, 2004.

[30] Hussein F., Souial G. F., Khalifa A. S., Gaefar S. I., Mousa I. A. Nutritional value of some Egyptian soft date cultivars (protein and amino acids). Proc. 2nd symp: Date palm. King Faisal. Univ, 1989.

[31] Ben-Lalli A., Bohuon P., Collignan A., Meot J. M. Modeling heat transfer for disinfestation and control of insects (larvae and eggs) in date fruits. J Food Eng 2013:116(2):505-514. doi:

[32] Serrano M., Pretel M. T., Botella M. A., Amoros A. Physicochemical changes during date ripening related to ethylene production. Food Sci Technol Int 2001:7:31-36. doi:

[33] Kader A. A., Hussein A. M. Harvesting and postharvest handling of dates. Aleppo: ICARDA, 2009.

[34] Akhatou I., Angeles F. R. Influence of cultivar and culture system on nutritional and organoleptic quality of strawberry. J. Sci. Food Agric. 2013:94(5):866-875. doi:

[35] Ismail B., Haffar I., Baalbaki R., Henry J. Physico-chemical characteristics and sensory quality of two date varieties under commercial and industrial storage conditions. LWT-Food Sci. Technol. 2008:41(5):896-904. doi:

[36] Salari R., Karazhiyan H., Mortazavi S. A. Study the effect of different packaging films on physiochemical properties of different Iranian dates during storage. Am-Eurasian J Agric Env Sci 2008:3:485-91.

[37] Benchabane A., Abbeddou S., Bellal M. M., Thibault J. F. Evolution of pectins and polygalacturonase activities during maturation of date Deglet-nour. Sciences des Aliments 2006:26:233-246. [In French]

[38] AbdElgawad H., Farfan-Vignolo E. R., de Vos D., Asard H. Elevated CO2 mitigates drought and temperature-induced oxidative stress differently in grasses and legumes. Plant. Sci. 2015:231:1-10. doi:

[39] Chen F. X., Liu X. H., Chen L. S. Development changes in pulp organic acid concentration and activies of acid-metabolizing enzymes during the fruit development of two loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) cultuvars differing in fruit acidity. Food Chem. 2009:114:657-664. doi:

[40] Zhang D., Lee D. J., Tippetts B. J., Lillywhite K. D. Date maturity and quality evaluation using color distribution analysis and back projection. J Food Eng 2014:131:161-169. doi:

[41] Barreveld W. H. Date Palm Products. Rome: FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin, 1993.

[42] Achour M., Bagga N. Effect of storage conditions on the color degradation of Tunisian Deglet Nour dates. Fruits 2005:60(1):41-46.

[43] Hazbavi I., Khoshtaghaza M. H., Mostaan A., Banakar A. Effect of postharvest hot-water and heat treatment on quality of date palm (cv. Stamaran). J Saudi Soc Agric Sci 2015:14(2):153-159. doi:

[44] Weichmann J. The effect of controlled-atmosphere storage on the sensory and nutritional quality of fruits and vegetables. Hort Rev 1986:8:101-126. doi:

[45] Blumberga D., Muizniece I., Blumberga A., Baranenko D. Biotechonomy framework for bioenergy use. Energy Procedia 2016:95:76-80. doi:

Environmental and Climate Technologies

The Journal of Riga Technical University

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 3.03

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 1.045
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 2.004

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 140 140 16
PDF Downloads 72 72 9