Integrated Pest Management of rice for consumption: EUREKA project


Abstract: The EUREKA project “Integrated Pest Management of Rice for Consumption” wascarried out integrating environmentally sound and sustainable technologies to replaceconventional chemical treatments needed for protecting the quality of rice at different phases ofpost-harvest handling and storage to meet European standards. It started in June 2006 and endedin January 2009 with partnership of research institutions, industries and farmer associations fromPortugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, Israel and the USA. The implementation of samplingprograms using manual and electronic traps in storage facilities and premises showed to be animportant tool for risk assessment (in time and space) and helped in decision-making as an IPMstrategy. Consumer and regulatory agencies for environmental protection demand for chemicalfreeand contamination-free products. This is a general tendency that industry finds difficult toconform with because insecticides are often necessary to prevent economic damage. In addition,in many countries insects have been developing resistance to contact insecticides and to thefumigant phosphine. The most common non-chemical alternative identified in the rice storageand processing industry was using aeration to reduce the temperature of stored paddy rice. Insummer, use of refrigeration units provided good solution for quality maintenance of paddy.During this project, rice mills applied modified atmospheres in silos and hermetic big bags asalternative control methods. The gas used (CO2) is comparatively safe and environmentallyfriendly and showed to be effective against key pests on both paddy and polished rice. Theimplementation of these strategies was reflected in the significant decrease of the number ofrejected units of polished rice from 111 tons of packaged polish rice before the project (2006) to7 tons until the end of the project (January 2009) and continued decreasing to reach only 500kgin June 2009, which may be interpreted as an increase in consumer satisfaction.

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