California scientists are experimenting with electromagnetic waves to kill pests in fruits and nuts. Currently, nut packing houses use chemical fumigates. The applied radio waves work much like micro-wave ovens, heating enough to kill the pests without harming the fruit or nuts. The hope is the technology will eliminate bugs without leaving potentially harmful chemical residue.
The electromagnetic method is already used for dry cereal, crackers, clothing and plywood. The California scientists want to develop a radio frequency machine that will allow nuts to be treated on a fast-moving conveyor belt.