Efficient strategies are required in sweet cherry fruits to control the spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, due to its adverse economic effect on farmers. Cold storage (CS) and storage with elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) are environmentally safe approaches for the pest control of stored fresh fruit. These strategies are effective in controlling a wide variety of insect species, without allowing toxic compounds to accumulate. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a post-harvest application of CO2 treatment at 50%, cold treatment at 4 °C (CT), and a combination of both (CO2-CT) in controlling the early stages of SWD within four cultivars of freshly harvested cherry fruit, namely "Burlat-Bigarreau", "Giorgia", "Ferrovia", and "Lapins". In addition, an evaluation of the quality attributes of the cherries (skin firmness, berry firmness, strong soluble material, and titratable acidity) was carried out at harvest and after 10 and 20 days of storage. All treatments significantly reduced the rate of emergence of SWD when compared to the control (untreated cherry at 24 °C), and 100% SWD mortality was obtained in Burlat-Bigarreau (CO2-CT). In addition, over the entire storage time, the quality parameters were preserved in the samples stored at 4 °C and in the samples with combined treatments in comparison with the control.
Keywords: post-harvest; spotted wing drosophila; sweet cherry.