Food Irradiation





The USDA/APHIS requires that all mangoes and litchis from Australia be irradiated for phytosanitary purposes. Australia has been exporting several types of irradiated fruit including mangoes and lychees to New Zealand since 2004. Recently exports have been made to Malaysia. In 2010, 1205 metric ton of irradiated fruit was exported by Australia to New Zealand. The volume of irradiated fruit exports has grown steadily. Currently xx Australian fruits are approved for irradiation. The Queensland Government has requested approval of irradiation of persimmons and 18 additional tropical fruits and vegetables. Irradiation is being promoted by Food Standards Australia NZ (FSANZ) as the preferred alternative to the highly toxic pesticides Dimethoate and Fenthion which must soon be phased out as the post-harvest treatment for tropical fruit fly. Learn more here...



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Female Q-Fly

Tephritid fruit flies are the world's most devastating insect pests of horticultural crops and in many regions the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is used to combat outbreaks or to suppress residual populations. In SIT, millions of flies are reared in large factories, sterilized (usually with gamma radiation), and released into nature. The released males then mate with wild females. Eggs fertilized by the released males fail to develop, and so the pest numbers are reduced in the next generation. This method can greatly reduce the need for environmentally and medically hazardous pesticides. Basic ecology and reproductive biology are at the very core of SIT and so basic research on the ecology, sexual and reproductive biology of tephritid flies has very applied benefits. Since 2004, Australia has successfully used gamma irradiation of mangoes and lychees to sterilize male fruit flies. Irradiation is the most effective technology available to protect agriculture in importing countries from the introduction of devastating Q-flies from Australia. Learn More about the Q-Fly.


Female Q-Fly on Citrus Fruit

Mango ABC news Australia image

Mangoes in Queensland, Australia

Australia became the first country to use phytosanitary irradiation for international quarantine control purposes in 2004. Exports from Australia to New Zealand have steadily increased, and 493 tons of irradiated fruits (mango, 460 tons; litchi, 3 tons) were shipped in 2010 through 2012). The United States Department of Agriculture ( USDA ) has formalized a Framework Equivalency Agreement (FEWP Federal Register) to faciltate importation of irradiated Australian mangoes and litchi.

Lychee ABC AU News

Lychee in Australia
Irradiated Fruit Exports Australia to New Zealand 2004 - 2010 Metric Tons




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