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Controlling pests in dry-cured ham: A review

Zhao, Y., Abbar, S., Amoah, B., Phillips, T.W., Schilling, M.W.
Meat science 2016 v.111 pp. 183-191
Coleoptera, bioactive compounds, cheeses, cold treatment, cured meats, ham, industry, integrated pest management, methyl bromide, mites, pest control, pests, phosphine, physical control, propylene glycol, sulfuryl fluoride, United States
Dry-cured hams can become infested with ham mites, red-legged beetles, cheese skippers, and larder beetles during the aging process. Though other methods may be used for beetles and cheese skippers, methyl bromide is the only available fumigant that is effective at controlling ham mites in dry-cured ham plants in the United States. However, methyl bromide will be phased out of all industries by approximately 2015. This paper will review and explore potential alternatives that have been investigated to determine their feasibility for replacing methyl bromide to control pest infestations in dry-cured ham plants in the United States. Potential alternatives include: 1) fumigants such as phosphine and sulfuryl fluoride; 2) physical control approaches through cold treatment, modified atmosphere, inert dusts, etc.; 3) pesticides and bioactive compounds; 4) food-grade processing aids. The most promising potential alternatives to date include the use of propylene glycol on the ham surface, the exploration of alternative fumigants, and implementation of an integrated pest management plan.