Quality assurance (QA) managers in the food storage and production industry have a lot on their minds. That’s because their company’s reputation is on the line every day, and new risks may accompany each and every shipment that enters their facility. In a recent survey conducted with QA managers, operations that store and process grains reported efficacy challenges with their existing pest management program, leading some to look for alternative solutions. Efficacy challenges add yet another worry to QA managers’ plates. Having the right mix of effective, reliable solutions in an integrated pest management (IPM) plan is the only reliable method to avoid lengthy shutdowns, warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or—worse yet—product recalls.

Benefit From Proven Efficacy 

The effectiveness of fumigating postharvest and stored products with ProFume® gas fumigant, sulfuryl fluoride, has been demonstrated in university studies and commercial facilities (Drinkall et al. 2003, Hartzer et al. 2010, Reichmuth et al. 2003, Thoms et al. 2008). Common target pests, Indian meal moths (Plodia interpunctella), and red and confused flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum and T. confusum, respectively) are known to contaminate food products, which can result in loss of quality, as well as loss of profit. These pests do not have known resistance to sulfuryl fluoride. By effectively targeting hidden and visible pest life stages, ProFume helps reduce quality assurance concerns by controlling targeted pests, including those that are known to be resistant to other control measures. Additionally, research (Thoms et al. 2008) has shown that ProFume does not result in off-odors or off-flavors.

Reduction of plant downtime is an important benefit for operations that choose to fumigate with ProFume. Precision Fumigation™ tools and techniques are at the core of the proprietary Fumiguide® program and help optimize fumigation plans by providing an opportunity to run “what-if” scenarios. Factors such as pest(s), temperature, half-loss time and exposure time can be manipulated to provide the best balance between downtime and cost while still achieving control of the target pests. While the fumigation is underway, the Fumiguide allows fumigators to utilize monitoring information to adjust the fumigation as it proceeds to ensure the correct dosage is achieved to control the target pests. Once the exposure period is concluded, the fumigant rapidly dissipates from the fumigated space during aeration. 

Keep Food Safety the Top Priority

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires operations that process, manufacture, package, and/or hold human foods to establish preventative and proactive solutions. Exclusion, regular inspection, and monitoring methods help you identify when additional measures are needed to control and reduce pest populations. Including a fumigation with ProFume as one of the tools in an operation’s IPM program helps operations stay FSMA compliant. In the event of a widespread pest outbreak, a fumigation with ProFume provides a rapid and proven solution to treat hidden pest harborage areas and re-establish control. Operations with sensitive electronic equipment and computers will not be negatively impacted by the use of ProFume, as it is noncorrosive (Bell et al. 2003, Thoms et al. 2008). Additionally, it has a Codex listing for international trade and is registered in over 20 countries. ProFume is used to treat many products for export. Users should confirm that treatment with sulfuryl fluoride is approved for quarantine treatment on a commodity with the importing country. With these benefits, QA managers can be assured that targeted pests are controlled from high-quality food commodities.

A Priority Tool in Any IPM Plan

All pests behave differently. Pests, such as the red and confused flour beetles, can infest cryptically inside both food processing machinery, as well as finished product. Others, such as the Indian meal moth, are more noticeable, with adults easily seen as they move around the infested area. Unfortunately, the damaging larval stage feeds within raw materials or finished products and is not easily detected. Using monitoring data to determine the action levels for pest populations is critical for preventing unacceptable economic losses from product damage. Using ProFume when data indicates that additional control actions are needed to reduce the pest population can immediately stop the damage of the target pests. This allows you to reset your IPM program and keep production running. As a gas, ProFume is able to reach hidden populations even when they are located in areas that cannot be reached using other control methods. 

As a gas, ProFume is able to reach hidden pest populations even when they are located in areas that cannot be reached using other control methods

Having multiple tools in your toolbox to help you prevent, identify, and control the different pests that can infest your operation is crucial to your operation’s success. Consider what your operation can achieve with the ability to consistently eliminate hidden target pests by including fumigations with ProFume in your IPM plan.

To learn more about ProFume and Precision Fumigation tools and techniques, contact your pest management professional or visit ProFume.com for more information.

References Cited:

Bell, C.H., T.J. Wonter-Smith, and N. Savvidou. 2003. Some Properties of Sulphuryl Fluoride in Relation to its Use as a Fumigant in the Cereals Industry. pp. 910–915. In Proceedings, 8th International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection, 22–26 July 2002, York, UK. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.

Drinkall, M.J., V. Zaffagnini, L. Süss, and D.P. Locatelli. 2003. Efficacy of Sulfuryl Fluoride on Stored Product Insects in a Semolina Mill Trial in Italy. pp. 884–887. In P.F. Credland, D.M. Armitage, C.H. Bell, P.M. Cogan and E. Highley (eds.), Proceedings, 8th International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection, 22–26 July 2002, York, UK. CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 

Hartzer, M., B. Subramanyam, M. Briiwani, W. Chayaprasert, and D.E. Maier. 2010. Methyl Bromide, Sulfuryl Fluoride, and Heat: Effectiveness Against Red Flour Beetle. In: G.L. Obenauf, (ed.), Proceedings, 2010 International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions, 2–5 November 2010, Orlando, Florida.

Reichmuth, C., W. Rassmann, G. Binker, G. Fröba, and M.J. Drinkall. 2003. Disinfestation of Rust-Red Flour Beetle (Tribolum castaneum), Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis), Yellow Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor), Mediterranean Flour Moth (Ephestia kuehniella) and Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella) in Flour Mills. pp. 736–738. In P.F. Credland, D.M. Armitage, C.H. Bell, P.M. Cogan and E. Highley (eds.), Proceedings, 8th International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection, 22–26 July 2002, York, UK. CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 

Thoms, E., J. Busacca, and S. Prabhakaran. 2008. Commercializing a New Fumigant: The ProFume® Success Story. In Proceedings, 2008 International Confined Atmospheres and Fumigants Conference, Chengdu, China.

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ProFume is a Federally Restricted Use Pesticide. Always read and follow label directions. These materials have been created specifically for ProFume and no other fumigant. These materials may not be copied, whole or in part, or reproduced without the permission of Douglas Products.

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