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New Zealand Plant Protection 69 (2016): 160-166

Apple washers: removal of insect pests and contaminants from export apples

D.J. Rogers, A.B. Woolf, R.M. McDonald, L.M. Cole, S. McLeod, P. Brookfield, J. Robertson and J.T.S. Walker


Export markets require high-quality fruit, free from insects and mites of quarantine significance, and with minimal or no agrichemical residues. This presents a challenge for New Zealand's pipfruit sector when developing novel pest management systems to meet these market requirements. Brush-bed apple washers are an important component of a systems approach to remove insects and mites in packhouses before fruit are exported. A new apple washer using multi-nozzle rotors significantly reduced the incidence of insects and mites on apples. Weathered residues of kaolin and hydrated lime were similarly reduced by this apple washer. Assessment of fruit quality after apple washing and cool storage did not identify any commercially significant quality issues on the three apple cultivars examined. Apple washer design to optimise pest removal from all locations on the fruit is discussed.

Keywords: apple washers, apple pests, insect removal, quarantine pest.

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