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Reducing Susceptibility of Heat-Treated Sweetgum and Pine to Mold Colonization by Incorporating Traditional Biocides

S. C. Kitchens, J. Dahlen, T. E. Johnson


Heat treatment, an International Plant Protection Convention-approved measure for phytosanitation of wood packaging material, is achieved by maintaining a minimum core temperature of 56°C for 30 min. The heat treatment process is typically effective regarding phytosanitation, although there are concerns regarding the longevity of the protection provided by the heat treatment because the moisture content of the wood is not reduced enough to prevent insect reinfestation or mold colonization. Susceptibility of heat-treated wood to organisms may be mitigated by combining heat treatment with biocides. Commercial formulations consisting of didecyl-dimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) may be utilized separately or in combination with disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT). To study mold growth following heat treatment, a modified mold test was conducted utilizing nonseasoned sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and southern pine (Pinus spp.) test samples to evaluate the efficacies of three biocide formulations applied in conjunction with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 standardized heat treatment. The results of this study indicate that in a 4-wk test period conducted at 23.8°C and 85% RH, surface mold grew readily on heat-treated wood material, but surfaces treated with DDAC and/or DOT in conjunction with heat treatment significantly reduced surface mold growth.


Heat treatment;ISPM 15;phytosanitation;surface mold;wood packaging material

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