Short-term storage regimens containing elevated atmospheres of carbon dioxide (CO2) were evaluated for their ability to disinfest newly harvested ‘McIntosh’ apples of apple maggot, Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh). Infested fruits containing newly laid eggs were either placed directly into the high-CO2 atmosphere at 10°C to expose this life stage, or else held first for 7 d at room temperature, to allow development to the neonate larval stage. Treatment combinations consisted of three different CO2 levels (10.6, 14.9, and 19.0% CO2) and two periods of exposure (7 and 14 d). Apple maggot eggs subjected to the treatments always exhibited some survival, which was lower for the 14-d than the 7-d exposure periods. In contrast, newly hatched larvae were less able to survive the treatments. The 7-d exposure allowed low levels of survival of this life stage, but virtually none survived the 14-d exposure period. To determine the age at which eggs become more susceptible to high-CO2 atmospheres, infested fruits containing eggs three or 5 d old were submitted to a 14-d exposure to 19.0% CO2. Survival of 3-d old eggs was similar to that of eggs exposed at an age of 1 d or less, but this dropped to near zero for 5-d old eggs, indicating an increase in susceptibility sometime during the 3–5-d age range. Fruits exposed to 19.0% CO2 for 14 d were significantly firmer than untreated fruits. No apparent browning, internal breakdown or other fruit defects were detected in any of the treatments.
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Vol. 95 • No. 2