Published by Ronald F. Eustice and sponsored  by GRAY*STAR Inc.
August 2016
Food Irradiation Update is published monthly by Ronald F. Eustice, a food quality & safety assurance consultant based in Tucson, Arizona.
He can be reached at: 
and at 612.202.1016
Steritech, the Queensland, Australia-based irradiation service provider has taken a proactive role in seeking new approvals and consumer education. These efforts have been highly successful. Currently 24 Australian fruits and vegetables are approved for phytosanitary irradiation. Exports which began in 2005, have increased 150 percent during each of the past three years. In June 2016, the first-ever phytosanitary irradiation conference was held in Australia. Representatives of ten countries participated in this educational conference. Australia has created a successful model that other countries can and should replicate. In this issue, Benjamin Reilly of Steritech shares the success story with us.
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Article: Irradiation is the key to expanding Australia fruit exports worldwide;
By Benjamin Reilly
Exports of irradiated Australian produce have increased 150 percent during the past three years. Twenty four commodities are now approved for irradiation. Markets include the USA, New Zealand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. 
The past year has seen exciting growth of Australian fresh fruit and vegetable trade utilising phytosanitary irradiation as a 100% chemical and gas free alternative.  

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) have now approved 24 different commodities for phytosanitary irradiation treatment with a number of additional commodities under consideration including blueberries and raspberries. This allows irradiation to be used for shipping the approved products into restricted markets such as the states of Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. In doing so, Australia's unique and pristine environment is protected and consumers have increased access to fresh fruit treated with a chemical and gas free process.  

Australia also exports fresh produce to five other countries under phytosanitary irradiation protocols including United States of America, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Product treated with phytosanitary irradiation for shipping to these markets is now in excess of 3000 tonnes a year. Over the past three years, the annual volume has had annual growth rate of 150%. This growth follows several years during which exports doubled. This volume is still a very small percentage of Australia's total exports suggesting great potential as new protocols are developed. 

Representives from 10 countries attended the first-ever phytosanitary workshop in Australia during June 2016 

In June, Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources hosted its first ever phytosanitary irradiation workshop with government delegates attending from Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. The purpose of the event was to share and advance the understanding and application of phytosanitary irradiation. Some of these markets already import irradiated food from Australia, while many also produce and consume their own irradiated food domestically.   Awareness and understanding for phytosanitary irradiation continues to expand among Australia's growers and exporters. As well as looking at it as a market access tool, many now recognise it as a competitive marketing advantage that helps deliver higher quality, fresher fruit faster delivering on premium markets' needs.

A key advantage of the treatment is improved quality as a cold chain can be maintained throughout the process unlike other options which require excessive heating or cooling. Irradiation also reduces some of the bacteria and mould spores which are often present and develop into major defects such as rot, reducing shelf life and causing wastage. High value commodities such as cherries and blueberries treated with irradiation have seen days and weeks added to their shelf life when compared to untreated controls.  

Australian fruits and vegetables are perceived by consumers worldwide as some of the safest highest quality available. Irradiation is a key factor in helping to protect that positive image
Phytosanitary irradiation has also played a valuable role in re-opening valuable airfreight windows at the start and end of each season. In many markets, Australian exporters can only ship via cold disinfestation protocols which typically takes between 2 and 3 weeks to complete, increasing the age of the product. During the 2015/16 grape season, Australia enjoyed strong airfreight grape sales of almost 1000 tonne to Vietnam under the new irradiation protocols. The option to air freight ensured Australian export programs could deliver higher quality and service levels to their customers, creating a point of differentiation from other major growing regions in the southern hemisphere. 

Australian fruits and vegetables continue to be perceived by consumers around the world as some of the safest, highest quality available. Phytosanitary irradiation is a strategic tool in protecting, maintaining and enhancing this marketing advantage. Under irradiation protocols, Australian fruit and vegetables can now arrive in an Asian market within 72 hours of leaving the Australian farm gate without a chemical or gas treatment. Retailers can capitalise upon this, differentiating their stores through consumer marketing messages focused on 'Fresh'. 

Momentum continues to build for phytosanitary irradiation as volumes of Australian fresh produce treated for export shows consistant growth. The unique combination of benefits in quality, freshness, speed and flexibility create value for the consumer, retailer and grower alike, positioning it as an effective and efficient treatment for the future. New and improved Australian export protocols using phytosanitary irradiation is expected, with strong support and interests from both industry in Australian and foreign markets.
Benjamin Reilly 
Benjamin Reilly is fresh produce marketing and distribution professional with experience in North America and Australia. He recently joined Steritech, Australia as their Business Development Executive of Fresh Produce He is focused on the strategic develop of phytosanitary irradiation protocols and markets so that Australian growers have strong, sustainable and competitive futures in exports. He can be contacted at BReilly@steritech.com.au 
MYTH of the MONTH: "Irradiation is too Expensive." By Russell Stein
Myth:
"Irradiation is too Expensive."
Reality:
There is no such thing as a free irradiated lunch.  However, irradiation processing is not as expensive as many believe.
 
For all goods and services, one can breakdown the costs into two categories: "fixed costs" and "variable costs".  Fixed costs are those that do not rely on the amount of products or services produced.  Building and equipment costs are typically "fixed".  On the other hand, costs that increase with increased production are "variable".  Typically these include raw material costs and hourly wages.
 
The costs for irradiation facilities are almost all fixed costs.  There are very few variable costs associated with the process.  The primary reason is that irradiation is a process involving no raw materials.
 
Initial capital requirements for an irradiation facility are relatively high.  The cost for a commercial irradiator starts at over a million dollars and can typically cost several million dollars, depending on production capacity.  This is a fixed cost.  The amount of time and expense to train irradiator operators is most cost effective if they are employed full time; whether or not product is being processed.  This is also a fixed cost.  For gamma facilities, the cobalt-60 source is bought in increments and it is depleted whether or not the irradiator is processing product.  Once again, a fixed cost.  E-beam and X-ray irradiators use electricity to generate their radiation.  For these irradiators, a major portion of their electricity costs are variable, but most of their other costs are fixed.
 
With most of the costs fixed, the cost to process a pound of product will depend on how many pounds of product are processed.  Simplistically, if the fixed costs are $1,000,000 per year and only one pound is processed, then the cost/pound is $1,000,000!  However, with the same fixed costs, processing 100,000,000 pounds, the cost would only be $0.01 per pound.
 
Therefore, the trick to economically operating an irradiator is to run as much product through as practical.  That is why most commercial irradiators try to operate 24/7/365.
 
If a company has enough product to irradiate, then it may be cost effective to purchase and operate their own irradiator.  The more product, the lower the cost.  On the other hand, if they do not have enough product to cover their fixed costs, then it will probably be more cost effective to contract with a service irradiation facility.  However, a service facility has some costs that are greater than would be incurred by an in-house facility such as having to deal with multiple regulatory agencies due to the variety of products they may be irradiating.  An in-house facility would only have to deal with regulators specific to their product.  Contract services also have to have irradiation sales staffs, marketing, warehousing facilities and other components not required by in-house processors.  And, the service providers need to generate a profit.  Therefore the price/pound of using a service facility will be significantly higher than the cost/pound for an in-house facility assuming the in-house facility has a sufficient volume of product to process.
 
The relative expense of the product is dependent on the volume of the product being irradiated.  However, how "expensive" it is depends on the value added by the process to the product.
 
If the benefit of irradiation is greater than the cost of the irradiation, then the process is not expensive.  Today, many foods are irradiated...so one must conclude that it is not as expensive as many believe.

Russell Stein 
GRAY*STAR, Inc.
USDA clears way for Vietnamese mangoes;  The Packer (August 8, 2016): 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has paved the way for imports of Vietnamese mangoes.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has paved the way for increased imports of Vietnamese mangoes; irradiation is mandatory.
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service posted a proposed rule allowing the imports Aug. 4 in the Federal Register.

Pending the completion of a comment period Oct. 3, the agency will decide whether to issue a final rule.
Following a request from Vietnam's national plant protection organization, APHIS conducted a pest risk assessment and risk management document on the feasibility of mango imports.

The agency concluded that fruit can be imported if it undergoes a systems approach that includes orchard requirements, irradiation treatment and port of entry inspection.

In addition, fruit can only be imported in commercial consignments, and it must be  accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Vietnam.

Vietnam expects to export about 3,000 metric tons of mangoes to the U.S. annually, less than 1% of all mangoes exported to the U.S.
Irradiation can fight Mango Weevil infestation; by Conrad M. Carino; Manila Times (August 4, 2016): 
Mango Pulp weevil (Stemochetus frigidus)
MANILA, PHILIPPINES: IRRADIATION can fight the mango pulp weevil (MPW) or Sternochetus frigidus in mango, which can help the Philippines pass the quality standards for the United States market for tropical fruits, according to government researchers.

The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 4B (DA-RFO-4B, Mimaropa) jointly conducted the study on using irradiation to combat the MPW.

Researchers Glenda Obra and Sotero Resilva of PNRI and Louella Rowena Lorenzana of DA-RFO 4B undertook the tests and study.

The current treatment for mangoes for the export market is vapor heat treatment (VHT) that is not effective against MPW. The adults of the pest can live for 1.5 years while the females can lay almost 800 eggs during their lifetime.

"It has been a long-term goal for Philippine mango exporters to send mangoes to the US because they pay a premium price for fresh carabao mangoes. The MPW was first reported in the Philippines in 1987 in the southernmost city of Bataraza in Palawan province," the researchers said in their paper.

"Since 1897, the Palawan Island group has been placed under quarantine to prevent the spread of the pest. A Special Quarantine Administrative Order specifies that the movement, transfer or carrying of mango plants, fruits or parts from Palawan is prohibited," they added. Citing government statistics, the researchers said the area planted to carabao mangoes in 2013 was 146,425.04 hectares and production was 671,861.93 metric tons valued at P19.2 billion.

They added MPW is native to places like northeast India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, including Irian Jaya. Although the mangoes were from Brooke's Point, they were treated at the PNRI's Multipurpose Irradiation Facility in Diliman, Quezon City. Samples of the MPW, in various stages of growth, were also brought to the facility.
Because of the absence of an artificial diet for the mango pulp weevil, mass-rearing of the insect was done under field conditions in Palawan using developing mango fruits on mango trees as substrate.

The researchers explained a suggested dose-response of 100 Gy (or Gray, a unit of ionizing radiation) would be sufficient to prevent reproduction in adult S. frigidus. Also, confirmatory tests using 100 Gy showed that 95 eggs laid by one adult MPW failed to hatch.
"Since the efficacy of treatments was estimated based on prevention of oviposition.
Therefore, the confirmatory dose was increased to 150 Gy for the remaining three trials.

The total number of insects treated with a target dose of 150 Gy was 4,549 adults whereas 440 adults served as the untreated control. No eggs were laid by any irradiated females in the three replications or trials, indicating complete sterility," the researchers added.
Confirmatory testing also showed 164.1 Gy was found sufficient to cause sterility on MPW.
For the control, the mean number of eggs laid per female was 510 eggs with percentage with a 95.9-percent hatchability.

The researchers said it was in 2006 that low-dose generic radiation treatments were approved for the first time by the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The agency approved a generic dose of 150 Gy for tephritid fruit flies and 400 Gy for all insects except pupa and adult Lepidoptera.

"Even 400 Gy generic dose is used to treat mangoes from India and Pakistan, several tropical fruits from Thailand, guava from Mexico and dragon fruit from Vietnam for export to the US," they added.
With their findings, the researchers recommended a maximum dose of 165 Gy for mangoes exported to the United States. That level of dose, as compared to 400 Gy, will minimize quality problems associated with fruits being exposed to irradiation treatment.

The 165 Cy dose is also costs lower and requires lesser time to administer on mangoes.
Also, when compared to chemical treatments for fruits bound for the export market, irradiation leaves no toxic residues.

"Irradiation treatment does not leave any toxic residues to the commodity and is therefore safe to the consumers. Furthermore, unlike vapor heat treatment [VHT] which can only be used for treatment of fruit flies but not of MPW, irradiation can be used to control both insect pests," the researchers said. When it comes to cost effectiveness, irradiation treatment amounts to P4.20 per kilogram while using VHT costs P17.30 per kilogram.
Link to article ...
The 9,000-Mile Sea Journey of an Irradiated Indian Mango.  Can the delicate mango ever become a seafaring fruit?; Jack Goodman, Atlas Obscura (July 26, 2016): 
Irradiated Indian Mangoes are making a 9,000 mile journey to the USA
NEW DELHI: Farmers in India say the unique aroma and taste of the Alphonso mango comes from the nutrient rich, blood-red soil and the winds blowing over the orchards from the Arabian Sea. The distinct sour perfume of unripe mangoes fills the air every harvest across the hillsides in Maharashtra State's Western Ghats. 

Once ripe, the saffron-yellow mango is known for its intensely fruity taste. The cult delicacy has a passionate fan base in many Persian Gulf states and India. But until just a few years ago, the Alphonso and every other variety of Indian mango was illegal in the U.S.

A bug problem caused the two-decade ban on American imports of Indian mangoes, to the great dismay of fans in the country's large South Asian community, who insist mangoes from India are more complex in flavor than the Latin American mangoes typically found on U.S. grocery shelves. Fears over fruit fly infestation kept the fruit away until 2006, when U.S. authorities relaxed the ban-with some conditions. 

Since then, all mangoes moving between India and the U.S. have been expected to undergo irradiation treatment. The U.S. approved irradiation as a safe quarantine treatment for fruit and vegetables in 2002. Fruits from countries including Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam face similar exposure to radiation to eradicate any invasive species they may be carrying.

Normally, fruits like mangoes are exported via planes. Yet since Indian mango orchards are thousands of miles away from the U.S. shops, high transports costs weaken the incentive for exporters to compete with mango-producing countries such as Mexico. But this month, state officials in Maharashtra say Indian mangos were sent to the United States by ship for the very first time. Indian press declared it an historic moment. 
In the sphere of Indian-American mango relations, it was progress.

India produces more than half of the world's mangoes every year, yet it exports relatively few of them. The experiment to transport the "King of Fruits" by sea may change that. Shipping mangoes abroad nearly halves their transport costs.

To get to New York by boat, one mango takes a 9,000 nautical mile journey. In late June, Alphonso, Kesar and Banganapalli varieties departed the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai, for an expected 22-day journey to New York. Indian exporters hope this lengthy voyage, from orchard, through radiation treatment, and onto a container vessel bound for the Eastern seaboard, will provide a new template for unleashing their mangoes on the U.S. market. 

Not everyone agrees, however, that the delicate mango can survive such an arduous journey.
"We gave up on sea," says Jaidev Sharma, president of Mangozz, a company that imports mangos from India to the U.S. His company experimented with a sea shipment in 2008. The results were so bad, he says, that the company did not publicize the long-awaited arrival of their mangos.

At sea, the mango is kept at a low temperature to slow down the process of ripening. Mangozz's shipment never ripened properly, and tampering with the ripening process is risky. After the batch softened up at room temperature, the seafaring mangos lacked their distinctive taste. 

Still, mango exporters and state government officials in India have confidence the fruit has the resilience to survive the journey.

Mango cultivation is a 6,000 year old tradition in India
Mango cultivation is a 6,000-year-old tradition in India. The mangos in Maharashtra State grow in orchards known locally as Aamri. To harvest the semi-ripe mangos, pickers use a net attached around a metal ring on the end of a bamboo pole. A sharpened arrow-shaped tool, stuck to the metal ring, called a zela, is used to dislodge the mangos into the net. The mangos are then placed into a wooden box lined with straw. 

From here, the mangos meant for export to the U.S. are transported to one of two irradiation centers, one at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Lasalgaon, and a second one in Vashi, near Mumbai. The Vashi irradiation hub is new; the Maharashtra state government built it in part to help boost mango exports. 

At the facilities, exposure to radiant energy such as gamma rays renders any bugs unable to reproduce on the long journey to the U.S. Insects are in effect, sterilized, which does not actually kill the bug living inside the mango at the time. The energy waves directly attack the molecular structure that form the pest's DNA. (The European Union lifted its own ban on Indian mangos this summer, but does not approve of irradiation treatment. Mangos destined for Europe are instead submerged in water at 48 degrees Celsius.)  

The final domestic stop for a mango is a shipping container terminal or a plane. India exported 700 tonnes of mangos to the U.S. this year, more than double what it sent last year. The first sea shipment carried a reported 18 tonnes.
Link to article ...
USDA plans to allow Vietnamese mangoes into US, Irradiation mandatory; USDA Press Release; (August 3, 2016): 
USDA has proposed rules to allow import of mangoes from Vietnam on condition they be irradiated. 
USDA APHIS is publishing a proposed rule to allow the importation of fresh mango fruit ( Mangifera indica L.) from Vietnam into the continental United States. The proposed rule will be available for review and comment beginning August 3.

The rule proposes that Vietnamese mango fruit can be safely imported into the continental United States if it meets several conditions. Under the proposal, the fruit would be required to be grown in an orchard which has been treated for pests, or certified as pest-free.  Shipments will also need to be treated with irradiation. The commercial consignments must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Vietnam with a declaration that the fruit was prepared for export in accordance with APHIS' import requirements. The shipments would be subject to inspection upon arrival at the port of entry into the continental United States.

After carefully reviewing comments we receive, we will announce our decision regarding the import status of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam in a subsequent notice.

Once published, comments on the proposed rule can be submitted until October 3, 2016 on-line at or by mail at:

Docket No. APHIS-2016-0026  
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD   
APHIS Station 3A-03.8  
4700 River Road  
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238
Pakistan mango export potential should be much greater; Fresh Fruit Portal; (August 8, 2016): 
A Pakistani mango industry representative says the country has the capacity to export a lot more fruit in the
Ahmad Jawal 
future but greater efforts are needed to secure workable protocols in key markets.

Ahmad Jawad, who chairs the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry's (FPCCI) Standing Committee on Horticulture Exports, says out of forecast production of 1.8 million metric tons (MT) this season only 190,000MT will leave the country.

The season started in June and runs through to the first week of September, with the Middle East as the leading market, followed by continental Europe and the U.K., as well as smaller volumes to the U.S. and emerging markets like Australia, China, South Korea and Mauritius.

"We have a lot of room available to enhance the export volumes - if it were in my hands, I think the export target should be 300,000-400,000MT," Jawad tells www.freshfruitportal.com.
And indeed Jawad, who is also CEO of the export company Harvest Tradings, has tried to take matters into his own hands.

He initiated discussions last year with the Ministry of Commerce seeking to get approval for an irradiation facility in Lahore - under the name 'Paras Foods' - to register for U.S.-bound exports.
"I personally spoke with the Agricultural Counsel of the U.S. Embassy - the Ministry more or less agreed to allow this local irradiation facility for the United States, but the U.S. officials have some different concepts," he says.

"Firstly they agreed but then they thought they had a shortage of inspectors - they have to be based in Lahore to inspect the mango consignments. Secondly, all the boarding and lodging expenses and the salary of the inspector is borne by the government of Pakistan.

"These two issues, one from the U.S. Embassy side and the other from the Pakistani Ministry of Commerce, the issue remains stuck to date. There is no further improvement or there's no big breakthrough by both sides."
But despite this static outcome, Jamad and other sector players continue to try to convince U.S. and Pakistani officials to provide them with other options.

Currently exporters to the U.S. are limited by rules that dictate they must ship to Dallas for in-country treatment of the fruit. Only 184 metric tons (MT) were sent to the market last year, and the estimate is similar in 2016.

"Buyers all over the world require easier procedures; they do not want complex procedures.
"For countries in the EU and the United States, would urge them [to push for changes] as Pakistani mangoes have a rich taste and aroma. Mostly foreigners in the different countries have a unique demand for Pakistani mangoes.

He suggests that the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan could conduct a Pakistani mango festival in different parts of U.S. to encourage the buyers and strengthen business-to-business contacts so that "buyers may take the benefit from the concessionary tariff and it also helps to give anew push in U.S.-Pakistan trade relations".

When asked about Australia, he highlights its good prices as a a great emerging markets, but Pakistani have not tapped into its opportunities enough yet.

He clarifies most markets accept vapor hot treatment (VHT) as an alternative treatment, but the U.S. authorities insist on irradiation; a requirement that Pakistani exporters are happy to meet.

Mango grower Ross Maxwell believes Asia is biggest potential market for Northern Territory, Australia mangoes.
MANGO madness has become a potential election issue, with the CLP pledging $2 million in seed capital to fund the building of the NT's first mango treatment facility if re-elected next month.

The NT Government opened the Request for Proposal process yesterday, inviting proposals to establish and operate a mango export treatment service in the Top End.

The establishment of a treatment facility would open up export markets in China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, where strict quarantine requirements currently block Territorian mangoes.

Jabiru Orchids farm manager Ross Maxwell welcomed the Government investment and said it currently took two days to send NT mangoes to an interstate treatment facility.

"We grow 50 per cent of the mangoes (in Australia) and yet our closest facility is in Queensland," he said.

Mr Maxwell said Asia was the biggest potential export market for NT mangoes.

Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries Gary Higgins said the service could stimulate the direct export of NT mangoes to a market of 1.8 billion people.

In May's Budget, the NT Government announced it would invest $2 million to build a Vapour Heat Facility in the Territory.

This announcement faced criticism from some growers, who said irradiation treatment was the way forward for the industry.

Tou's Garden owner Ian Quin said the Government's Budget proposal was an investment in "old technology".

Based on further consultation with the NT mango community, the CLP said it would welcome proposals to build either a vapour heat treatment or irradiation treatment facility.

Shadow Minister for Primary Industry Ken Vowles said Territory Labor supported the initiative on the condition that it had broad support from industry.
Aussie mangoes like an "entirely new category" in the U.S. Fresh Fruit Portal (August 1, 2016):
Australia plans to replicate New Zealand success story in U.S. Market. Irradiation is a required protocol for all Australian mangoes going to the USA. 
Multiple mango farms from the Northern Territory and Queensland have applied to register for exports to the U.S. this season, even though shipments probably won't start until December. As part of the protocol fruit must be irradiated, and Australia's only facility that can do this is run by Steritech in Brisbane.

Before looking at opportunities in the U.S., it is worth taking a look at the impact a similar protocol has had much closer to home in New Zealand.  "Australia has mango irradiation protocols for to the U.S., New Zealand, Malaysian and Indonesian markets," says Ben Reilly, Steritech's export business development executive.
"New Zealand has been a great success story with over 1.8 million mangoes being exported to the market last season, answering strong consumer demand. That's a lot of mangoes for such a short season and a country with just over four million consumers," he says.

"This success has positioned New Zealand is now one of Australia's top mango export markets."
But can this be replicated in the United States, where Brand Australia is a bit less rivalrous and much more novel? "The Aussie accent, kangaroos hopping beside mango trees and our beautiful landscape in general have a strong consumer appeal in the U.S. and are a lot of fun for marketing gurus to play with," Reilly says.
"The arrival of Australian mangoes in the U.S. created a lot of excitement in both countries last year.
"Australian mangoes are unique and different when compared to what U.S. consumers were familiar with, which meant U.S. retail treated it as an entirely new category."

Reilly commends the efforts of importers and retailers last season, and believes U.S. supermarkets "excelled" in customizing displays and signage for Aussie mangoes to suit each store's demographics. "Last year U.S. retail put up some great displays introducing multiple varieties and promoting each on their unique attributes," says Reilly, who is very familiar with the North American market having worked previously with Giumarra.

"I expect most retailers to continue promotions that first focus on the memorable brand "Australian Mangoes" and then focus on education around variety and flavor. "Retailers will have to educate their customers on how to pick, cut and eat a ripe Aussie mango because they are very different to what they are accustomed to purchasing."

He also highlights there will be added flexibility this year with exporters able to ship to additional ports including Dallas-Fort Worth and New York JFK, opening up significantly more air space while allowing transit times to be reduced. "This will help Australian exporters offer a higher level of service to major East Coast markets while ensuring quality is maintained. "Aussie mangoes are picked and transported at a higher maturity and ripeness than most other mangoes.

"This ensures the consumer enjoys the very best flavor but it also requires careful handling and temperature control while getting it to them," he says. He says the fruit should be stored at 12-14°C (53.6-57.2°F), with lower temperatures damaging the fruit and higher temperatures speeding up ripening.
"Every variety has slightly different attributes so exact handling requirements should be discussed with the importer," he says.

"When merchandising, fruit should almost be ready to eat, avoiding deep stacking to prevent bruising. Displays need to be maintained frequently to ensure fruit is rotated and does not over-ripen."
In order to help, Steritech along with the Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA) will continue to actively support all U.S. traders and retailers with access to marketing and educational materials.

"The excitement of having multiple varieties allowed retail to merchandise and promote with beautiful displays increasing shelf space and driving sales. "The slightly different eating characteristics of each variety created consumer interest encouraging multiple pieces and varieties to be purchased at the same time.

"It was also interesting to see how the different varieties were able to together satisfy the diverse varied consumer palate found in the U.S., helping successfully reintroduce consumers to the category." Even though the fruit is known for its flavor, it is not uncommon in the produce industry to hear of complaints or hesitation when the process of irradiation is mentioned. Reilly hopes some of these worries have been dispelled.

"Phyto-Irradiation is a chemical free process that is fast, fresh, efficient and most importantly does not require product to be heated or cooled outside of optimal handling temperatures for export treatment." he says.
"This is an important key difference which helps ensure Aussie exporters are able to deliver our mangoes to US consumers without compromising on the quality, flavor or maturity.
"This is an important key difference which helps ensure Aussie exporters are able to deliver our mangoes to US consumers without compromising on the quality, flavor or maturity."
Other markets

Reilly is optimistic about the U.S. market as well as Malaysia, Indonesia and New Zealand, which all present "exciting markets for growth". "Equally as exciting is the ongoing interest we receive from importers in major markets such as China and Japan, hoping to access Australian mangoes through an irradiation protocol.
"Australia does not yet have an irradiation protocol in place for these markets however Steritech actively works with all industry groups and government to help develop workable market access for Australian growers."

India in talks to boost mango exports; India Today (August 1, 2016):

 
India plans to boost mango exports worldwide. Irradiation is key to success
New Delhi, Aug 1 (PTI) India is in talks with different countries including Australia and South Africa to boost export of mangoes.

Although some varieties of mangoes from northern India are already being exported to Australia, authorities concerned are pursued to consider other varieties as well, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

A delegation from Australia had visited India in June "to verify and certify three irradiation facilities for export of irradiated mangoes from the western and southern parts of India," she said.

Approval for certification of these facilities is under process, he said.
 

With South Africa also, the market access efforts are continuing, she said adding in case of South Korea, market access was granted in June.
Mango exports to the US expected to double, with Northern Territory fruit to be sent for first time; ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Company) (July 20, 2016):
Australia's Northern Territory will soon export mangoes to USA 
The mango industry is hoping to double exports to the US this year, with Northern Territory fruit to be sent for the first time.

Around 100 tonnes of mangoes were sent to the US last season, after the trade began in early 2015.
Australian Mango Industry Association CEO, Robert Gray said he expected the extra fruit to be exported by beginning this year's shipments earlier.

"Last year we only used Queensland fruit, which meant we only had half the season to supply," Mr Gray said.
"The aim this year is to start in October and have product going into the US for the full four or five months of the Australian mango season."

Four Northern Territory businesses, all from the Katherine region, have signed up to export fruit to the US this year, after missing out on the trade last year.

Mr Gray said Northern Territory growers had to adjust their chemical use to meet US residue requirements before they could export.

"Some of the chemicals we use in Australia for meeting our interstate trade, [such as] managing fruit fly, and some of the chemicals we use for good fungal control are difficult to use in the US market," he said.

"So there has been a change of process that growers have had to do to make that happen, both from what they do in their orchards to what they do in their packing sheds.

"It was a matter of getting themselves organised to have a separate supply chain put together to meet the requirements of that specific market."

Mr Gray said there was increased interest from growers across Australia to expand into the growing US market.
"After the success of last year with the supply out of Queensland we were very keen to see some Northern Territory growers take up the challenge this year," he said.

"[The US market] has really good potential for both volume growth and profitable prices.

"We are selling our fruit at four, five and six dollars a piece in the US market. That equates to a return comparable to the best average returns in any of our other markets."
All fruit exported to the US must be treated in Australia's only irradiation plant in Brisbane.
Link to article .... 
Radura
foodirradiation.org is an excellent source of information on food irradiation.

Food Irradiation Update is published by Ronald F.  Eustice and sent to you through the sponsorship of GRAY*STAR, Inc., the manufacturer of the Genesis Irradiator.  
 
 
Food irradiation is a cold pasteurization process that will do for meats, produce, and other foods what thermal pasteurization did for milk decades ago.
Ronald F. Eustice, Consultant
Phone: 612.202.1016
reustice@gmail.com