Horticulture Access Solutions  

To markets through science

Insecticides widely used within Australia as a post harvest quarantine treatment against fruit flies are under review by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. Restrictions on the post harvest use of these insecticides, particularly for edible peel products, are widely expected. Horticulture Access Solutions P/L (HAS) is well placed to provide growers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and exporters with a cost effective and environmentally safe and sustainable alternative solution.

Fruit flies and other insect pests restrict the export of Australian tropical fruits to markets such as New Zealand and the United States. These insects cost exports, jobs and economic growth and development in regional Australia.

$1.432 billion per year of Australian horticulture production is subject to fruit fly restrictions according to Plant Health Australia.

Horticulture Access Solutions is installing an innovative, electricity based, X-ray treatment to provide growers and exporters with an effective, economic and sustainable export treatment and offer an alternative to chemicals and fumigants. 

Many fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, capsicum, mangoes, papaya and lychee require an approved quarantine treatment prior to interstate or export distribution.

There are various plant quarantine treatments such as fumigants, insecticides, cold, heat and irradiation. Irradiation is an approved interstate quarantine treatment (ICA-55). New Zealand approved irradiation as the quarantine treatment for Australian mangoes in 2004, papaya in 2006, lychee in 2008 and tomatoes and capsicum in 2013. Malaysia has also approved irradiation as a quarantine treatment for Australian mangoes. The United States granted access for Australian mangoes and lychees in September 2013, with irradiation as the quarantine treatment. Irradiation also offers the potential to provide cost effective access to a number of Asian markets. All export quarantine treatments are under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture.

In 2003 Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approved the use of irradiation as a plant quarantine treatment on a range of tropical fruits under the Food Standard Code, 1.5.3‘...irradiated food is considered equivalent to non-irradiated food or fruits that have been treated with more conventional treatment protocols (e.g. heating for quarantine purposes) with respect to safety, nutritional properties and wholesomeness.' (p 60 of tropical fruit final assessment report, 2002 ). The code requires labeling food that has been treated with ionizing radiation.

X-rays are widely used in medicine, dentistry and baggage and cargo screening, and are an established food irradiation source. The key benefit of X-rays is that they are generated from ordinary electricity; turn off the electricity switch and the radiation ceases.  There are no environmental emissions and a series of well established and proven design, system and training measures ensures a safe workplace for the staff.

Horticulture Access Solutions is establishing an x-ray plant quarantine treatment facility, using proven technology, to provide an effective fruit quarantine treatment service for Australia's horticulture industry.

Horticulture Access Solutions has begun the planning process for a site in Brisbane. The completed facility will have approximately 2000m2 of floor space and will be temperature controlled to maintain fruit quality.   

Several environmental initiatives are incorporated into the building design such as solar panels for hot water generation, capturing rainwater from the roof for landscape irrigation and carbon filters on the refrigeration system to keep fruit in top condition.

If you would like more information on x-rays as a tropical fruit quarantine treatment, please emails us at info@hortaccess.com.au.