PESTS OF AGRI-FOOD PRODUCTIVE CHAIN

PESTS OF AGRI-FOOD PRODUCTIVE CHAIN

Larvae of Piophila casei on cured ham

The infesting arthropods of economic interest are numerous and able to colonise differently all the factories of the agri-food productive chain. In fact, they are very specialised insects and mites that prefer certain substrates in which they can develop, sometimes in an abnormal way. Their presence is related not only to the fouling of food products, but also to their direct destruction and disintegration. Just think of the infestation by Piophila casei, a tiny fly able to irreversibly alter thousands of hams, making them unsellable or to Acarus siro, a mite that manages to pulverise the crust of cheeses up to make the external writings disappear.

Tribolium confusum

Most of the times the pests act by disintegrating the foodstuffs, crumbling and digging them internally, but also soiling them with their dejections and their exuviae. So their role can be direct and obvious, but also indirect and invisible. Just think of the Tribolium that alters the odour of starchy that colonises, emitting benzochinons or Trogoderma, which releases in the food products sticky and strongly irritating bristles that make the product inedible.

 

 

Moreover, infestation by pathogenic arthropods often overlap to pests of food, as it may occur  with the aculeate micro-hymenoptera of the genus Cephalonomia or with Glycyphagus, a mite that can cause a dermatological scabies-like picture.

Sitophilus oryzae

When the infestation is at the beginning, the damage produced is always irrelevant, but when the pest reproduces and develops undisturbed on its substrate, the economic damage can increase and it is not easy to defend and to curb the pest diffusion in the factory. It is for this reason that the use of E.D.P.A.I.® is essential, being an innovative method that detects the traces of pests at their onset, when they are still at the larval stage. The commonly used monitoring methods,  like the adhesive light traps, reveal only the adults. We deem that discovering the outbreaks of pests in the various industrial environments is essential to really keep a factory under control.