The use of carbon dioxide in big bags and containers for the control of pest in food products
Contribution to section 4:
Fumigation, modified atmospheres and hermetic storage
Modified atmospheres (MA) based on high carbon dioxide (CO2) contents offer an alternative to synthetic chemical fumigation for insect pest control in food commodities during storage and shipment processes. The present study aimed to establish the efficacy of using CO2 in big bags and containers to prevent pests’ development. Four trials were conducted with gastight big bags (900 x 900 x 1000 or 1600 cm). Two of these trials were conducted with polished rice and samples of Sitophilus oryzae, one trial with chamomile infested with Lasioderma serricorne and one trial with cocoa and samples of Tribolium confusum and Ephestia kuehniella. Initial contents of CO2 were higher than 75%, which decreased depending on exposure time (13 to 90 d) and food product. In all four trials the insects present in the infested samples were controlled with the MA. An additional trial was conducted in a 9 m container containing dried herbs in boxes, big bags and other pacaging formats. Twelve infested samples of L. serricorne and Plodia interpunctella were distributed uniformly at the bottom and top of the container. A concentration between 70% and 15% CO2 was maintained for an exposure time of 18 d. In spite of the decrease in CO2 content, the treatment was also effective to control all insects present in the samples. Our results confirmed that CO2 could be applied to food products during the storage in big bags and containers to control the occurrence of pests.
Keywords: Modified atmosphere, Carbon dioxide, Pest control, Stored-product pests.