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Disinfestation of Stored Dates Using Microwave Oven

Disinfestation of Stored Dates Using Microwave Oven

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Disinfestation of stored dates using microwave energy
A. Manickavasagan
a
, P.M.K. Alahakoon
a
, T.K. Al-Busaidi
a
, S. Al-Adawi
a
, A.K. Al-Wahaibi
b
,A.A. Al-Raeesi
b
, R. Al-Yahyai
b
, D.S. Jayas
c
,
*
a
Department of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khoud 123, Oman
b
Department of Crop Sciences, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khoud 123, Oman
c
Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
a r t i c l e i n f o
 Article history:
Accepted 29 May 2013
Keywords:
DatesDisinfestationMicrowavePhoenix dactylifera
Tribolium castaneumOryzaephilus surinamensis
a b s t r a c t
This study was conducted to determine the mortality of two common insect species in stored dates usinga microwave oven operating at 2450 MHz. Adults of 
Tribolium castaneum
(Herbst) and
Oryzaephilussurinamensis
(L.), and larvae of 
T. castaneum
(15 days) were used to internally infest stored un-pitteddates and then subjected to microwave treatment at 180, 300, 600 or 800 W power for 20, 30 or 40 s.Complete mortality was achieved for adults of both insects and larvae of 
T. castaneum
when the powerwas 800 W and the exposure time was 30 or 40 s. Mortality of 
T. castaneum
larvae was also 100% whenthe powerand exposure timewere600 Wand 40 s, respectively. The quality attributes of the microwave-treated dates (inwhich 100% mortality was achieved) were compared with untreated dates. Instrumentalevaluation of texture pro
les revealed that microwave disinfestation did not affect hardness, adhesive-ness, springiness, cohesiveness and chewiness. Microwave disinfestation did not affect the sensory at-tributes or the surface color of date fruits. The moisture loss during microwave treatment was between1.0 and 1.5 percentage points. Further investigations are required to determine the capability of microwave disinfestation for packed dates and other stored product insects and life stages.
Ó
2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Date fruit is an essential component of the diet in many coun-tries, especially in the Middle East and North Africa regions. It is agood source of rapid energy due to the high sugar content. It alsocontains dietary
ber, phenols, antioxidants and other bioactivecompounds, and can be consumed on a daily basis (Ali et al., 2012).In Oman, the date palm trees represent about 82% of the totalcultivated fruit crops, and occupy around 49% of the total agricul-tural land (Al-Yahyai and Al-Khanjari, 2008). The average annualnational production is around 238,000 tonnes (Al-Yahyai and Al-Khanjari, 2008). Although the production in Oman is high, theannual export is less than 10,000 tonnes (Al-Rawahi et al., 2005)mainly duetothepoorqualityof theprocessed andpackageddates(Al-Marshudi, 2002). Date quality is determined based on color,size and absence of defects or damages (Ait-Oubahou and Yahia,1999). In the international market, the standards for date quali-ties are: appropriate color,
avor, size, stage of ripeness, moisturecontent, freedom from insects, insect eggs, mites and absence of different types of defects (Kader and Hussein, 2009).In general, the harvested dates are usually at 60
e
70% moisturecontent (MC), and then dried to 10
e
25% MC before storage. Theinsects
ndthedrydateswithhighsugarcontent(around50
e
60%)asagoodsourceoffood,andifinfested,disinfestationisachallengedue to the physical nature of the fruit and the rate at which theinsects spread into stored dates. Like other date producing coun-tries, in Oman the infestation of stored dates is a serious problem.Al-Zadjali et al. (2006)surveyed insect attacks in date palm
eldsand stored dates for seven years across the country, and reportedthattheextentofinfestationwas6.7%,12.3%,18.4%,21.8%and22.7%in the Rustaq, Musan
a, Nizwa, Dhank, and Sohar regions, respec-tively. Methyl bromide (MB), which is being used by many coun-tries, is very effective for controlling insects in stored dates (Al-Kahtani et al., 1998). However, it is an ozone depleting substance(ODS), and several environmental agencies have been developingstrategies to phase out use of this chemical. According to theMontreal Protocol, developed countries were expected to phase-out MB by 2005 and developing countries should phase-out by2015 (El-Mohandes, 2012). Hence there is an urgent need to lookfor effective alternatives for the MB application in date processing.Microwave energy has been used for the disinfestation of several stored grains.Zouba et al. (2009)achieved 100% mortality
*
Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses:
digvir_jayas@umanitoba.ca,digvir.jayas@ad.umanitoba.ca(D.S. Jayas).
Contents lists available atSciVerse ScienceDirect
 Journal of Stored Products Research
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jspr
0022-474X/$
e
see front matter
Ó
2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspr.2013.05.005
 Journal of Stored Products Research 55 (2013) 1
e
5
 
in controlling the moth
Ectomyelois ceratoniae
in Tunisian dates.The disinfestation of stored wheat was accomplished byVadivambal et al. (2007)without affecting milling and bakingqualities.Vadivambal et al. (2007)also summarized other studiesusingmicrowaveenergy(Hurlocketal.,1979;Watters,1976;Hamidet al., 1968). Microwave disinfestation has the advantage of selec-tive heating in mixtures of different substances. This method doesnot leave any chemical residue in the food and does not have anyadverse effect on the environment. Since microwave energy couldpenetrate into substances with water, sugar or fat molecules, thereis a great potential in using microwaves to heat the inside of a datefruitmoreeffectivelythanheatingitfromoutside.Theobjectivesof thisstudywere:(1)todeterminetheeffectofmicrowavetreatmenton the mortality of adults of 
Tribolium castaneum
and
Oryzaephilussurinamensis
, and larvae of 
T. castaneum
in date fruits, and (2) todetermine the effect of microwave treatment on the fruit qualityattributes (instrumental texture, surface color and sensory char-acteristics) of dates.
2. Materials and methods
 2.1. Date samples and infestation
Fardh, one of the most susceptible varieties for insect infesta-tion, was used in this study. Dried, fumigated and cleaned datesampleswereobtainedfromaprocessingfactory(BrightSunDates,Seeb, Sultanate of Oman) to ensure that the fruits were of uniformmaturity, drying stage, and were free from insects prior to testing.The adults and larvae of the insects were obtained from the Ento-mology Lab of College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, SultanQaboos University. Each date was cut open with a dissecting bladeand one live insect (adult or larvae) was inserted and closed bygentle pressing to prevent the escape of the insect.
 2.2. Microwave treatment 
A microwave oven operating at 2450 MHz (230 V, 50 Hz, ModelMW83U, Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd, Surrey, UK) with variablepower levels and a turn table was used in this study. Twenty dates(10 infested and 10 un-infested) were uniformly arranged in monolayer on a circular paper plate and placed on the turn table formicrowave treatment. The samples were exposed to microwavetreatmentat4powerlevels(180,300,600or800W)for3exposuretimes (20, 30 or 40 s). Each treatment (power and exposure timecombination) was replicated 3 times.
 2.3. Mortality and quality measurement  2.3.1. Mortality
After exposure to microwave radiation, the number of dead andlive insects in each sample tray was counted. The criterionexplained byVadivambal et al. (2007)to con
rm the dead insectswas followed. After microwave treatment, the mortality wasdetermined by opening the dates along the cut side and inspectingthe insect. The insects were considered dead if they failed torespond to gentle rubbing with a small brush. The insects werechecked again formortalityafterthesamplewas cooled for 15min.During microwave treatment, insect remained inside the datesmost of the time as it was closed. The insects came out of dates afew times, and those experiments were repeated with fresh datesand insects.
 2.3.2. Texture
After microwave treatment, the samples were allowed to coolfor 2 h at room temperature (22
C), and the texture pro
les weremeasured. A texture analyzer (Model TA XT2i, Stable Micro Sys-tems, Surrey, England) was used to measure the force
e
time curveusing two-cycle compression test as explained byRahman and Al-Farsi (2004). Aplate (diameter7.5cm)compressedthedatesample(15 mm
Â
15 mm) placed on a
xed table. The load cell was cali-brated with a 5 kg weight. The equipment was set to zero byautomatically lowering the plate until the bottom surface of plate just contacted the table before each experiment. Then the cross-head was allowed to descend at the rate of 2 mm/s to a totaldeformation of 3 mm (70% compression). When the compressionstroke was completed, plunger abruptly reversed its direction andstarted upward stroke at 5 mm/s. Then a second (down and up)cycle was run on the same sample. All operations were automati-cally controlled by the Texture Analyzer. The compression depthwas held constant at 3 mm in all experiments. The instrumentautomatically recorded the force
e
displacement or force
e
timecurve. The experiment was replicated 3 times. The following at-tributes were determined from the force
e
time curve as explainedbyRahmanandAl-Farsi(2004):hardness,cohesiveness,chewiness,springiness, gumminess and adhesiveness (hardness - force toattainagivendeformation;cohesiveness
e
degreetowhichsampledeforms (rather than ruptures); chewiness
e
number of chewsrequired masticate before swallowing; springiness
e
rate of returnto original shape after some deformation; gumminess
e
beingsticky and cohesive; adhesiveness
e
force required to removesample from a given surface) (Prasert and Suwannaporn, 2009;Meilgaard et al., 2007a). For texture analysis, each treatment (4microwave power
Â
3 exposure times) was replicated 3 times. Ineach replication 3 dates were randomly taken for analysis. There-fore, in each treatment texture pro
les of 9 dates were analyzed.
 2.3.3. Temperature
The surface and internal temperatures of date fruits weremeasured after microwave treatment. As soon as the samples weretaken out from the oven, the surface temperature was measuredusing an infrared thermometer (non-contact, digital type meter,Model 830-T1, Testo, Lenzkirch, Germany), and the internal tem-perature was measured using a thermocouple type digital foodthermometer (Model HI 98501, Hanna Instruments, Bedfordshire,UK). While measuring the internal temperature, the thermocoupleprobe was touching the internal surface of the date
s
esh (not airtemperature).
 2.3.4. Color 
Colorimagesof thedatesampleswereacquiredbeforeandaftermicrowave treatment using an RGB camera (Model DSC-W320,SONY Inc., Japan) under uniform diffused light produced by two
uorescent lamps (Model OSRAM DULUX L 36W/954, OSRAMGmbH, Munchen, Germany). Red (R), green (G) and blue (B) valuesofthedateimageswereextractedafterimplementingregion-basedsegmentation to eliminate the background using Matlab software(Version 7.1, The Mathworks Inc., Natick, MA).
 2.3.5. Moisture loss
The moisture loss during microwave heating was measured forthe treatments in which 100% mortality was obtained. Each treat-mentwasreplicated3timesandfromeachreplication3dateswererandomly taken for moisture analysis. Therefore, 9 dates wereanalyzed in each treatment for moisture loss during microwavetreatment. To measure the moisture content of the dates, thesamplesweredriedinanoven(BrabenderGmbHandCo,Duisburg,Germany) at 105
C for 24 h (Rahman and Al-Farsi, 2004). Theweight of individual date sample was measured before microwavetreatment, after microwave treatment and after oven drying, andthe moisture loss during the microwave treatment was calculated.
 A. Manickavasagan et al. / Journal of Stored Products Research 55 (2013) 1
e
5
2
 
 2.3.6. Sensory
To determine whether the microwave treatment makes anychanges to sensory attributes (overall difference), a triangle testwas conducted as explained byMeilgaard et al. (2007b). Theobjective of this triangle test was to discover whether a perceptibledifference exists between treated and untreated samples. Triangledifference test is useful in situations where treatment effects mayhave produced product changes that cannot be characterizedsimplybyoneortwoattributes(Meilgaardetal.,2007b).Thisstudywas conducted with 40 untrained panelists (students at the SultanQaboosUniversity).Thesamplesafter24hof microwavetreatmentwere used for the sensory test. Three coded samples were pre-sented to each panelist, and mentioned that two samples wereidentical and one was different. The panelists were asked to tasteeach sample, and identify the different one. The number of correctreplies were counted and tested for level of signi
cance using thetable of critical number of correct response in a triangle test givenbyMeilgaard et al. (2007b).
 2.3.7. Statistical analysis
The effect of insect type, microwave power and exposure timeon mortality of insects was studied statistically using StatisticalAnalysis System software (SAS, version 8.02, SAS Institute, Inc.,Cary, NC) by analysis of variance (ANOVA) using 3 factorial designmodels (3 insect types (
T. castaneum
adult
Â
O. surinamensis
adult
Â
T. castaneum
larvae)
Â
4 microwave power levels(180 W
Â
300 W
Â
600 W
Â
800 W) and 3 exposure times(20 s
Â
30 s
Â
40 s)) with general linear model (GLM) procedure. Inall analyses, the differences within the levels under each variablewere tested at 95% con
dence interval (type I error,
a
¼
0.05) usingthe least signi
cant difference (LSD) method of comparison of means. For texture analysis, each attribute was tested by a 2factorial design model (4 microwave power levels (180 W
Â
300 W
Â
600 W
Â
800 W) and 3 exposure times(20 s
Â
30 s
Â
40 s)) as explained above. For color, mean R, G, Bvalues before and after microwave treatment were analyzed usingStudent
s
test.
3. Results and discussion
At 180 W, the mortality was almost zero for both insect species(Table 1). Similarly when the applied power was 300 W, the mor-tality was less than 50% except for 40 s exposure. When the mi-crowavepowerwasincreasedto800W,andtheexposuretimewas30 or 40 s, 100% mortality was obtained for all species. Insectspeciesandlifestage,microwavepowerandexposuretimeaffectedeventual mortality. Although mortality generally increased withpower or exposure time or both, mortality of 
T. castaneum
larvaewas signi
cantly greater than
T. castaneum
adults. Similarly mor-tality of 
O. surinamensis
adults was signi
cantly greater than
 Table 1
Percentage mortality of insects after microwave treatment (
n
¼
3).Insect Power (W) Exposure time (s)20 30 40
Oryzaephilus surinamensis
adult180 4
Æ
6
a
0
Æ
0 4
Æ
6300 0
Æ
0 10
Æ
17 47
Æ
41600 57
Æ
6 73
Æ
6 89
Æ
12800 58
Æ
10 100
Æ
0 100
Æ
0
Tribolium castaneum
adult 180 0
Æ
0 0
Æ
0 0
Æ
0300 0
Æ
0 0
Æ
0 17
Æ
6600 27
Æ
6 77
Æ
32 97
Æ
6800 33
Æ
12 100
Æ
0 100
Æ
0
Tribolium castaneum
larvae 180 0
Æ
0 0
Æ
0 0
Æ
0300 0
Æ
0 0
Æ
0 60
Æ
10600 83
Æ
6 93
Æ
6 100
Æ
0800 53
Æ
23 100
Æ
0 100
Æ
0
a
Standard deviation.
01020304050607080901000 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000
   M  o  r   t  a   l   i   t  y   (   %   )
Heat Energy (J)
 Adult of Oryzaephilussurinamensis Adult of TriboliumcastaneumLarvae of Triboliumcastaneum
Fig. 1.
Variation in mortality of 
Oryzaephilus surinamensis
and
Tribolium castaneum
with respect to total microwave energy.
 A. Manickavasagan et al. / Journal of Stored Products Research 55 (2013) 1
e
5
3

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