Disinfestation of stored dates using microwave energy

A. Manickavasagan, P. M.K. Alahakoon, T. K. Al-Busaidi, S. Al-Adawi, A. K. Al-Wahaibi, A. A. Al-Raeesi, R. Al-Yahyai, D. S. Jayas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This study was conducted to determine the mortality of two common insect species in stored dates using a microwave oven operating at 2450MHz. Adults of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) and Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.), and larvae of T. castaneum (15 days) were used to internally infest stored un-pitted dates and then subjected to microwave treatment at 180, 300, 600 or 800W power for 20, 30 or 40s. Complete mortality was achieved for adults of both insects and larvae of T.castaneum when the power was 800W and the exposure time was 30 or 40s. Mortality of T.castaneum larvae was also 100% when the power and exposure time were 600W and 40s, respectively. The quality attributes of the microwave-treated dates (in which 100% mortality was achieved) were compared with untreated dates. Instrumental evaluation of texture profiles revealed that microwave disinfestation did not affect hardness, adhesiveness, springiness, cohesiveness and chewiness. Microwave disinfestation did not affect the sensory attributes or the surface color of date fruits. The moisture loss during microwave treatment was between 1.0 and 1.5 percentage points. Further investigations are required to determine the capability of microwave disinfestation for packed dates and other stored product insects and life stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Stored Products Research
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Dates
  • Disinfestation
  • Microwave
  • Oryzaephilus surinamensis
  • Phoenix dactylifera
  • Tribolium castaneum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science
  • Horticulture


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