Quarantine treatments

Market access can be an issue when exporting, moving produce interstate, or even moving between regions. Quarantine restrictions are in place to prevent pests carried in or on host vegetables moving into areas where they are not currently found. Access may depend on proving that the area or place of production is free of the pest species. Other methods include application of pre-harvest chemicals or postharvest treatments.

Products infested with significant numbers of pests—whether insect, fungus or nematode—are almost always unmarketable. Such product would never normally be packed for sale. Moreover, dead insects are nearly as unacceptable to a customer as live ones. In all probability, postharvest quarantine treatments rarely kill any pests. However, regulators often prefer them over in-field treatments or systems approaches because treatments can be proven experimentally to provide extremely high levels of quarantine security. 

Taiwanese quarantine inspector examining cherries for signs of any live fruit fly larvae.