By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages
Brazilian startup NanoScoping Nanotechnology Solutions has developed a line of natural crop protection products using nanocapsules the size of a virus.
The innovative technology has a patent application and is certified for use in organic agriculture.
The Nano Agro line consists of three products: Nano Agro Neem (insecticide), Nano Agro Crop (fungicide and bactericide) and Nano Agro Total (fungicide, bactericide and insecticide). As they are made from compounds of natural origin, they are biodegradable and biocompatible and can be used in several crops, such as corn, strawberries, tomatoes and lettuce.
Melaleuca, neem, citronella and oregano, which make up the base of the products are already used in organic agriculture. The innovation lies in the use of technology, essential oils are encapsulated in nanoparticles that cannot be seen with the naked eye. “With this technology, we were able to attribute functionalities to the active principles,” said Maria Beatriz da Rocha Veleirinho, a partner at the startup.
“For example, we were able to increase the penetration and ‘spreadability’ of the active principles in the plant. Essential oils are also quite volatile and evaporate when applied. When you can put a structure around this molecule, you can lock it, like a cell. So, the oils stay longer on the surface of a leaf, becoming more effective,” Veleirinho explained.
Tests with universities and research institutions proved the efficiency of the products, with 47% to 97% reduction in bacterial growth in tomatoes; 78% to 83% reduction in fungal growth in strawberries, and 99% to 100% reduction in bacterial growth in peppers. Further research on efficiency is continuing.
The startup is supported by the Foundation for Research and Innovation Support of the State of Santa Catarina (Fapesc) and the Financier of Studies and Projects (Finep).