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Use of ultraviolet-C radiation as quarantine treatment for fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in acerola (west Indian cherry), guava, starfruit and kumquat

Abstract

The great expansion of the consumer market for in natura fruits was enabled by its quality enhancement and by the increasing of the fruits useful life after harvesting. The inadequate harvest and after harvest managing accelerates the deterioration process and diminishes the quality of the fruits, limiting its commercialization period, bringing losses and taking the agriculturalist to the use of chemical products that may be harmful to nature and human beings. Due to the difficulties to the continuous use of chemical fumigants on the fruits destined to exportation, the pest disinfestation processes that call more attention and interest are those in which the products are subjected to physical treatment. The quarantine treatments require a high level of phytosanitary safety, due to possibility of survival of some individuals, with risks of introduction in new areas and consequences socio-economic losses, mainly when one is dealing with a great commercial scale where the remaining species may be intercepted by the phytosanitary inspection system, for instance, and then the cargo being exported may be rejected or even temporarily blocked. The biggest challenges during the quarantine treatment are adequate and safe levels of plague elimination in vegetables, that maintain the quality of the products, as the chemical and physical alterations may occur during their application. The use of ultraviolet-C radiation appears as a possible and innovative physical method to the disinfection of quarantine plagues, mainly when dealing with fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) that are among the main species of plague insects of the world's fruit- culture. It is exactly the study of these plagues that this paper explores, and its main objective is the evaluation of the efficiency of the UV-C radiation control methodology to promote the disinfection of Ceratitis capitata (Wied.) and Anastrepha sp. (Diptera: Tephritidae) eggs in West Indian Cherry, starfruit, guava and kunquat. (AU)

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