By Danny O. Calleja
One way of eradicating anthracnose disease in mango fruits is the application of chlorine, according to the Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension (BPRE), a satellite organization under the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Anthracnose, also called black spots is caused by a fungus known as Colletotrichum gleosporioides and is considered a very serious disease that infects all parts of mango, including flower panicles, twigs, leaves and fruits of both mature and immature trees.
BPRE director Ricardo Cachuela, in a statement this week said his bureau has been conducting studies on the application of non-chemical treatment of mangoes as well as fresh banana fruits through hot water treatment (HTW).
One possible way to completely eradicate anthracnose is the application of chlorine and studies showed positive results in terms of controlling the disease, Cachuela said.
Chlorine is a chemical used to kill germs and is usually being used as water purifier and disinfectant.
Dr. Kevin Yaptengco of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños Institute of Agricultural Engineering (UPLB-IAE) who had been helping in the studies recommended to study further the variables of lowering the heating temperature of HWT and provide longer or shorter time for immersion, Cachuela said.
“We have taken the suggestion and we are now in the process of conducting trials considering the temperature and time protocols as recommended by Dr. Yaptengco,” the BPRE chief said.