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New Zealand Plant Protection 67 (2014): 109-115

Reducing the risk of importing pest-infested citrus by applying high pressure washing treatments offshore

M.J. Griffin, S.R. Olsson, L.E. Jamieson, V. Kagy, C. Mille, P.G. Connolly and A.B. Woolf

ABSTRACT

New Caledonia exports limes to New Zealand and Australia each year. In 2011, a high pressure washing (HPW) system was installed in an existing fresh lime grading line in La Tontouta, New Caledonia. Since then, fumigation of limes has decreased from 100% of shipments prior to 2011 to 5.8% in 2012 and 1.2% in 2013 (from 173 and 82 shipments respectively). This paper reports on trials undertaken over the last 2 years while installing, modifying, testing and commercially operating the HPW system for lime exports. Fruit quality and removal of pests (mainly Glover's scale (Lepidosaphes gloverii) and mussel scale (Lepidosaphes beckii)) indicated that a 175 psi (1207 kPa) HPW treatment under a gantry of seven rows of two angled nozzles resulted in up to 97% removal of pests and >84% of heavily infested limes being clean of pests, with no adverse effect on fruit quality.

Keywords: insect removal, risk mitigation, quarantine, limes, scale insects.

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