ACUA SA implements from 15/03/2018 the research project ‘Assessing nitrogen for disinfection and disinfestation during processing, storage and transport of currants’with acronym NitroCurrants (project code: T1ΔΚ-04326).
Scope of the study
The proposed study aims to evaluate the application of nitrogen in commercial scale for the disinfection and disinfestation of stored Corinthian currants. The proposed study will evaluate the insecticidal efficacy of nitrogen application against storage insects of currants. Moreover, the organoleptic characteristics (e.g. colour, odour, taste, flavoretc) and microbial load of currantswill be additionally assessed. For the real-time monitoring of temperature and oxygen concentration during nitrogen application, a network of wireless temperature and oxygen sensors will be installed in the facilities of Agricultural Cooperatives Union in Aeghion. Last, the efficacy of nitrogen application against major storage insects on other significant commodities, such as Sultana raisins or dried figs will be evaluated.
Greece is the most important producer of Corinthian currants andthe evaluation of controlled atmospheres will occur in the adoption of the method in larger scale on currants or other commodities. The absence of alternative methods for methyl bromide and phosphine fumigation make the results of the proposed study interesting and important and will contribute to the Integrated Management of these products using environment friendly methods.
Objectives of the project
- To study the effect of nitrogen for the control of major stored product insect species and to design an algorithm that will enable the successful application of nitrogen in different storage conditions (e.g. temperature, exposure time etc).
- To study the effect of nitrogen on the sensory properties and microbial flora load of currants.
- Tο develop a sensor app system for monitoring in real time the application of nitrogen.
- To develop algorithms for different commodities (e.g. figs, plums etc).
Results so far
- Nitrogen treatment was effective against major stored product insects.
- The combination of elevated temperatures with short exposures to 1% oxygen achieved high mortality levels in different stored product insects.
- The successful developmentof asoftware for forecasting and monitoring important factors such as temperature and nitrogen is important for the proper application of nitrogen.
- Application of nitrogen to various products such as figs, plums, raisin sultanas has remarkably high mortality rates in different stored product insects.
- Nitrogen treatment reduced the microbial load of currants. Application time and temperature did not seem to significantly affect currant microbial load and sensory characteristics under the conditions tested.
- The moisture content of the currant was not affected when temperature and exposure time changed under the experimental conditions examined.
- The simple carbohydrate content of currants was not found to vary due to changes in temperature and exposure time under the experimental conditions tested.
- The color of the currants was not affected by the application of nitrogen in different exposure times and temperatures.
- The thermal properties of the currant were not found to differ significantly due to the application of nitrogen in different times and temperatures.