Heat treatment: A viable methyl bromide alternative for managing stored-product insects in food-processing facilities


  • R. Hulasare Temp-Air Inc., Burnsville, MN 55337, U.S.A. Email: rhulasare@temp-air.com
  • B. Subramanyam Department of Grain Science and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
  • P. G. Fields Cereal Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2M9, Canada
  • A. Y. Abdelghany Economic Entomology Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt




Heat treatment involves raising and maintaining temperatures of grain storage structures, warehouses, and food-processing facilities between 50 to 60°C to manage stored-product insect species. The duration of heat treatment is application-specific and may vary from 6 h for an empty storage facility to 24 h for an entire food-processing facility. Laboratory and commercial trials with high temperatures during the last decade, especially with forced air gas heaters, have resulted in a wealth of information on (1) understanding responses of insect species and life stages to heat, (2) heat distribution within a treated area, and (3) techniques necessary for gauging effectiveness of commercial heat treatments. Insect responses vary with the temperature, among species, and within a species among life stages. Air movement and strategic placement of fans are important for eliminating cool spots.

Keywords: Heat, Forced air, Flour mills, Methyl bromide alternative