October 01, 2012 | By Guy Hallman, Center for Grain and Animal Health Research

Research Highlight: Using Radiation to Control Pests

Can assist in quarantining ag commodities, reducing food-borne illnesses

A study authored by Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (CGAHR) entomologist G.L. Hallman by Submitted to the Journal of Stored Products Research. It stated the use of food irradiation is increasing in the world because it can assist in solving some food problems such as food-borne illness and quarantine of agricultural commodities. This review article focuses on the use of irradiation in stored products for pest control. The doses required to control stored product pests range from 50 Gy for yellow mealworm to 450 Gy for Angoumois grain moth. 

Although small amounts of grain and pulses are irradiated in the world today, that amount is increasing, especially in Asia. Thirty three countries permit irradiation of some stored products with 14 permitting it for all stored products. One area that may show promise for use on exported grain is to prevent seeds from invasive plants from growing.

Contact Guy Hallman, telephone 785-776-2705, email Guy.Hallman@ars.usda.gov

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