Two nano formulations would be commercialized by the Directorate of Agri business development of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) soon.
Fruity fresh is a liquid nano formulation containing hexanal that keeps fruits and vegetables fresh for more days. The pre-harvest spray of Fruity Fresh extends the shelf life of mango for two weeks on trees and another two weeks under storage conditions by employing post-harvest dip methodology, Dr. A. Lakshmanan, Professor and Head, Department of Nano Science and Technology told a meet on “Linking Nano Stakeholders” held at the University.
Hexanal has also been successfully encapsulated in polymer matrix either as an electro spun fibre matrix (Nano sticker) or nano-pellets that extends shelf life of fruits by 1-2 weeks during storage and transportation, he said.
This sticker and pellets technology is highly user friendly and can be placed inside the cartons containing fruits during transport for enhancing the freshness.
Nanotechnology has touched all realms of life including agriculture and the success is widely embraced by the scientific community. TNAU is the first State Agricultural University in India to establish an exclusive Department of Nano Science and Technology in 2009 with a view to initiate research in the crosscutting areas.
The meet was organised to enlighten the farming community, agro industries and other stakeholders on the importance of various advanced nano products and besides farmers and fruit exporters, polymer indsutries from Coimbatore, Theni, Krishnagiri, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai participated in this Nano Products Meet.
The seed priming technology using nano fibre matrix is ready for pilot testing. and mesoporous nano silica can be employed to impregnate any pesticide molecules to achieve higher bio efficacy and sustained release, he said.
The Nanotech center of TNAU has developed nano film from agro wastes such as banana pseudo stem and Agave to replace synthetic plastic. The Nano-Fibrillated Cellulose extracted from banana pseudo stem can be used as filler in biopolymer matrix to develop bio films.
This technology can be customized by polymer industries based on their requirements and this meet would help the industries to work in coordination with Nano Centre of TNAU to commercialize these technologies at the earliest, Lakshmanan said.
NABARD CGM N.P. Mohapatra, inaugurated and TNAU Vice Chancellor Dr N Kumar, presided over the meet.