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Article

Essential Oils as Post-Harvest Crop Protectants against the Fruit Fly Drosophila suzukii: Bioactivity and Organoleptic Profile

1
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, via Del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
2
Technology Transfer Centre—Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Via E. Mach 1, 38010 San Michele all’Adige, TN, Italy
3
Department of Pharmacy, University of Pisa, Via Bonanno 6, 56126 Pisa, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(8), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080508
Received: 30 June 2020 / Revised: 24 July 2020 / Accepted: 31 July 2020 / Published: 5 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Substances against Insect Pests: Assets and Liabilities)
The spotted-wing drosophila Drosophila suzukii is an invasive small fruit fly that causes extensive damage to many fruit crops. To control this pest, the use of aromatic plants essential oils (EOs) is gaining importance since they are bioactive, biodegradable, and ecologically safe. However, despite of the EOs proved efficacy, they still do not have a widespread application due to their high volatility, composition variability and especially their strong smell. In this study we evaluated not only the EOs bioactivity but also their effects on the organoleptic profile of treated fruits. We tested two EOs extracted from mandarin (Citrus reticulata) and tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) very different for composition and smell. Both the EOs were effective in repelling D. suzukii. However, while no negative effects on the organoleptic profiles were detected for the fruits treated with Citrus reticulata EO, the fruits treated with M. alternifolia EO were defined by the panel of experts as “not suitable for consumption”. Overall, our findings indicate that the use of EOs for the post-harvest protection of small fruits is feasible, provided that the EOs have been selected not only for their bioactivity against the insect pest but also for their affinity with the consumers’ sensorial system.
The essential oils extracted from mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco) fruits, and from tea tree (Maleleuca alternifolia (Maiden and Betche) Cheel) leaves have been chemically analyzed and tested for their bioactivity against D. suzukii. Besides, to estimate consumers’ acceptability of the essential oil (EO) treatments, we evaluated their impact on the organoleptic characteristics of the EO-treated fruits. The main chemical constituents of the two EOs were 1,8-cineole and 4-terpineol for M. alternifolia (22.4% and 17.6% of the total components, respectively), and limonene (83.6% of the total components) for C. reticulata. The behavioral tests indicate that the two EOs are able to deter D. suzukii oviposition and that D. suzukii shows positive chemotaxis to low concentrations of the EOs and negative chemotaxis when the EO concentration increases. While no negative effects on the organoleptic profiles were detected for fruits treated with C. reticulata EO, the olfactory profile of fruits treated with M. alternifolia EO was so negative that they were defined as “not suitable for consumption” by panellists. Overall, our findings indicate that the use of EOs for the post-harvest protection of small fruits is feasible, provided that the essential oils are selected not only for their bioactivity against the insect pest but also for their affinity with the consumers’ sensorial system. View Full-Text
Keywords: spotted-wing drosophila; repellence; attractiveness; oviposition deterrence; tea tree; mandarin; organoleptic profile spotted-wing drosophila; repellence; attractiveness; oviposition deterrence; tea tree; mandarin; organoleptic profile
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bedini, S.; Cosci, F.; Tani, C.; Pierattini, E.C.; Venturi, F.; Lucchi, A.; Ioriatti, C.; Ascrizzi, R.; Flamini, G.; Ferroni, G.; Taglieri, I.; Conti, B. Essential Oils as Post-Harvest Crop Protectants against the Fruit Fly Drosophila suzukii: Bioactivity and Organoleptic Profile. Insects 2020, 11, 508. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080508

AMA Style

Bedini S, Cosci F, Tani C, Pierattini EC, Venturi F, Lucchi A, Ioriatti C, Ascrizzi R, Flamini G, Ferroni G, Taglieri I, Conti B. Essential Oils as Post-Harvest Crop Protectants against the Fruit Fly Drosophila suzukii: Bioactivity and Organoleptic Profile. Insects. 2020; 11(8):508. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080508

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bedini, Stefano, Francesca Cosci, Camilla Tani, Erika C. Pierattini, Francesca Venturi, Andrea Lucchi, Claudio Ioriatti, Roberta Ascrizzi, Guido Flamini, Giuseppe Ferroni, Isabella Taglieri, and Barbara Conti. 2020. "Essential Oils as Post-Harvest Crop Protectants against the Fruit Fly Drosophila suzukii: Bioactivity and Organoleptic Profile" Insects 11, no. 8: 508. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080508

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