The efficacy of low-oxygen atmospheres using low pressure, referred to as hypobaric conditions, to kill egg and third-instar Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh) in apples was investigated. Infested apples were exposed to 3.33 and 6.67 kPa in glass jars at 25 and 30°C for times ranging from 3 to 120 h. Probit analyses and lethal dose ratio tests were performed to determine differences in lethal time values. Eggs were more tolerant of low pressure compared with third-instar R. pomonella. Mortality of eggs and larvae increased with increase in time of exposure to low pressure and temperature. Lower pressures increased percent mortality of eggs, but these values were not significantly different at the pressures tested in this investigation. The LT99 for R. pomonella eggs at 3.33 kPa was 105.98 and 51.46 h, respectively, at 25 and 30°C, which was a significant effect of the higher temperature on egg mortality. Investigation into consumer acceptance of low-pressure-treated apples was done with ‘Red Delicious’ and ‘Golden Delicious’. Apples exposed to 3.33 kPa at 25 and 30°C for 3 and 5 d were stored at 1°C for 2 wk and presented to a sensory panel for evaluation. The panelists rated treated apples with untreated controls for external and internal appearance and taste. Golden Delicious apples were unaffected for all three sensory factors across both temperatures and exposure times. Although taste was unaffected for Red Delicious, the internal and external appearances deteriorated. Use of low pressure for disinfestation and preservation of apples is a potential nonchemical alternative to chemical fumigants such as methyl bromide and phosphine.
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Vol. 106 • No. 3