The technique, called metabolic stress disinfection (MSDD), was developed by Manuel Lagunas-Solar and his team at University of California, Davis (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture DOI 10.1002/jsfa2538).
Tim Essert, the Principle Electronics Engineer on the project, explains that MSDD works by subjecting insects on fruit and vegetables to alternating vacuum and carbon dioxide. This effectively suffocates organisms because they require oxygen to live. Ethanol gas is also used to kill fungi and bacteria.
The technique could replace the use of post harvest pesticides, and may complete the phasing out of ozone depleting methyl bromide. In 1997 160 governments promised to phase out its use by 2005 as part of the Montreal Protocol, but some exceptions were granted for the food and farming industries.
“The initial hardware cost of an MSDD system is higher than methyl bromide, but the cost of chemicals is much cheaper, so that eventually it would pay for itself”, Essert told Chemistry & Industry. Around $20 - $40 worth of methyl bromide is needed to fumigate one pallet of fruit, whereas Carbon Dioxide and Ethanol used to treat with MSDD, assuming no recovery, would cost about $10.00.
MSDD also has additional benefits to the environment, as the gasses can be recovered and recycled.
Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State
How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy