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Effect of Low Pressures on the Survival of Cocoa Pests at 18°C

Simcha Finkelman*, Shlomo Navarro, Miriam Rindner, Refael Dias, Avi Azrieli

The Volcani Center, Department of Stored Products, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50-250, Israel
Accepted 17 May 2002

Abstract: This study forms part of an effort to eliminate the need for fumigation with methyl bromide to control insect infestations in stored cocoa beans, through development of novel alternative vacuum-hermetic technology. In this communication, the effects of low pressures and exposure time were studied on the mortality of insects at a temperature of 18°C, chosen to simulate cocoa bean storage conditions in temperate climates.

Three insect species were used, two of which are major pests of cocoa beans in producer countries, Ephestia cautella (Walker), and Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), while the third, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.), is a potential storage pest in temperate climates. For T. castaneum and E. cautella the egg stage was the most resistant to 55±10mm Hg at 18°C, the times needed to obtain 99% egg mortality were 96 and 149 h, respectively. For O. surinamensis, the adult stage was the most resistant with 164 h being required to obtain 99% mortality.

© 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Key words: Cocoa; Methyl bromide alternatives; Low pressure; Ephestia cautella; Tribolium castaneum; Oryzaephilus surinamensis

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