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M2i Life Sciences’ micro-encapsulated pheromone awarded the Innovation & Enterprise Prize from the French Ministry of Ecologyqrcode

Nov. 5, 2015

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Nov. 5, 2015
M2i Life Sciences has recently been awarded the Innovation & Enterprise Prize from the French Ministry of Ecology for its innovative Biocontrol solution against the pine processionnary caterpillar, through the use of pheromone containing paintballs in infested forests.

With its green patented micro encapsulation technology for pheromones, M2i is devoted to the problem of integrated control without pesticides against the pine processionnary caterpillar that affects over 300 000 ha of forest and 67% of French municipalities. This pest, besides its disastrous impact on the heritage of the pinewood territories, is a major public health concern because its larva is highly irritant and dangerous for local residents and animals.

M2i Life Sciences has developed an innovative process for mating disruption pheromones. During the flight time the aim is to saturate the air with a large amount of the insect specific sex pheromone to prevent males and females detecting each other and therefore limit the couplings thus laying and prevent infestation of the pine forest.

The active pheromone ingredient is micro-encapsulated in a natural wax emulsion (biodegradable); this unique process allows for prolonged release which is controlled and stable over time.

With this technology, M2i Life Sciences’ pheromone formulated gel is inserted into biodegradable paintballs (developed by the French company Polytek) that are then propelled on the trees over 10m height (the higher the pheromone is deposited the more effective it will be) and thus spread on the plot. This method is more convenient than trapping butterflies or caterpillars (less labor), more efficient (120 days of diffusion of the pheromone which is the entire life cycle of the pest) and more discrete (no traps visible).

This solution is currently the subject of an experiment on multiple sites in France in collaboration with INRA of Avignon as part of an Eco Phyto program of the Ministry of Agriculture initiated in July 2014.



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