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Effects of Vacuum and Controlled Atmosphere Treatments on Insect Mortality and Lettuce Quality

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Laboratory studies were conducted to determine the effects of vacuum and controlled atmosphere on mortality of aphids, Nasonovia ribisnigri (Mosley) and Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas), and leafminer, Liriomyza langei Frick, and on the visual quality of iceberg lettuce at three different temperatures. Vacuum at 50 mbar and controlled atmosphere with 6% CO2 were effective in controlling aphids and leafminer larvae. Complete control of N. ribisnigri and M. euphorbiae was achieved with vacuum treatments and 6% CO2 CA treatments at 5°C in 4 d. Mortality was >96% when leafminer larvae were treated with vacuum and 6% CO2 CA treatments for 4 d. However, leafminer pupae were more tolerant to the treatments and highest mortality was close to 60% in 4 d with CO2 under vacuum. None of the treatments had negative effects on visual quality of iceberg lettuce. Results from this study are encouraging and warrant further and large-scale research.

Keywords: Controlled atmosphere; lettuce; postharvest pest control; postharvest quality; vacuum

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-96.4.1100

Publication date: August 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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