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Process protocols based on radio frequency energy to control field and storage pests in in-shell walnuts

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A practical process protocol was developed to control insect pests in in-shell walnuts using a 27 MHz pilot scale radio frequency (RF) system. Fifth-instars, that had been determined to be the most heat resistant life stage for navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella [Walker]) using a heating block system, were selected as the targeted insect in the protocol development. RF heating to 55 degrees C and holding in hot air for at least 5 min resulted in 100% mortality of the fifth-instar navel orangeworm. Rancidity, sensory qualities and shell characteristics were not affected by the treatments. The process slightly reduced the moisture content of the walnut kernels, which could prove an additional benefit by providing even nut moisture content and reducing the growth of microorganisms. If this method can be economically integrated into the handling process, it should have excellent potential as a disinfestation method for in-shell walnuts.
Wang, S. , Tang, J. , Johnson, J.A. , Mitcham, E. , Hansen, J.D. , Cavalieri, R.P. , Bower, J. , Biasi, B.
Includes references
Postharvest biology and technology Nov 2002. v. 26 (3)
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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