One of the most important products grown in Iran is walnut, while it can be threatened by some storage pests. Ozonation process is an environmentally friendly method for killing pest insects. Accordingly, ozone efficacy in the control of a pest species of walnut was assessed in this research. The selected walnut samples were infested with larvae of Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) and then subjected to various combinations of ozone concentrations (3, 4.5, and 6 ppm) and exposure times (20, 30, 40, and 50 min). Following the exposures to the ozone treatments, larval mortality rates and changes to the sensory properties (color, taste, smell, crispness, stiffness, and overall acceptability) of the walnut indicating consumer preference were evaluated. Our results revealed enhanced mortality rates of our pest with an increase in both ozone concentration and exposure time in a way that 99% mortality was recorded at the concentration and exposure time of 6 ppm and 50 min, respectively. The sensory assessments of the samples showed that ozone treatments had no significant impacts on the color, taste, crispness, stiffness, and overall acceptability of the product. Also, few changes were recorded for its smell, which could be improved over time after being exposed to the air. We concluded that application of higher ozone concentrations might provide acceptable levels of pest control for stored walnut with no possibly associated reduced trade-off for their quality attributes.

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