Mortality of Tribolium castaneum and quality changes in Oryza sativa by indirect exposure to Non-Thermal Plasma
The management of stored product pests is a serious concern as it contributes to postharvest product losses. This study investigated the influence of NTP on the control of Tribolium castaneum adults and the quality of Oryza sativa and compared with phosphine fumigation. The experiments were performed at 100 - 200 V of NTP and 100 - 200 ppm of phosphine for the exposure periods of 8, 16, and 24 h. Mortality of 100 % and 86.67 % was obtained at 24 h of exposure for plasma treatment (200 V) and phosphine (200 ppm), respectively. The quality changes in rice during the mortality studies were also evaluated for treated samples. The cooking properties, texture, hydration behavior, and pasting profile along with color and moisture content were investigated. The statistical analysis did not report any significant quality changes for plasma and phosphine treated rice compared to the untreated samples. The microstructural changes in the rice was also examined by scanning electron microscope. The results suggest that NTP treatment can be used as a useful tool for the control of T. castaneum without affecting the properties of rice. However, large scale studies have to be explored for practical usage of NTP in management of stored product pests.
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