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ASCENZA: Runs modern and sophisticated facilities to produce innovation, sustainable and efficient formulationqrcode

Apr. 25, 2022

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Apr. 25, 2022

Editor Note: “Innovation in ASCENZA’s formulation R&D is the driver of portfolio evolution, looking for more sustainable formulations, maintaining or improving efficacy, reducing the AI load into the environment while making products accessible to all farmers,”said Sónia Aparício, ASCENZA R&D Manager in a recent interview with AgroPages.

She also shared her views on the overview of formulation R&D, production and application of ASCENZA, the challenges and countermeasures of agrochemical formulation development, as well as product development strategy etc.


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Sónia Aparício, ASCENZA R&D Manager


Please briefly introduce ASCENZA, global presence, and core competitiveness.

ASCENZA is a European crop protection player, headquartered in Portugal, with direct presence in the South European markets, Brazil, and Mexico. With a turnover of c.200M$, differentiates in the off-patent segment through its strong and proprietary regulatory data ownership and its complete and differentiated portfolio, being a benchmark of the segment.

Could you introduce the overview of formulation R&D, production, and application of ASCENZA and relevant facilities & capabilities? Could you highlight the innovation formulation technology and special features? And share some technologies to accelerate formulation innovation?

In ASCENZA, we run modern and sophisticated facilities, dedicated to the crop protection business. These units are fully adapted to our business needs, combining flexibility, efficiency, and environmental safety, ensuring the maximum safety conditions for our employees.

Our plant facilities are composed of four completely independent sites: Fungicides/Insecticides, Herbicides, Sulphonylureas, and Sulphur.

Through constant improvement and adaptation to market trends and needs, in ASCENZA we have developed robust knowledge in the field of formulation. We produce a broad range of formulation types: EC, SL, EW, SE, SC; SP, WP, WDG, CS, GR, ZC and OD. Some of these formulation types represent more recent formulation technology like CS, ZC and SE allowing the combination of two or more incompatible active ingredients. This approach improves product safety, reduces active substance degradation, making the use by the farmer safer, while guaranteeing optimal efficacy results.

Innovation in ASCENZA’s formulation R&D is the driver of portfolio evolution, looking for more sustainable formulations, maintaining or improving efficacy, reducing the AI load into the environment while making products accessible to all farmers. As an example, this is the case of a sulphonylurea based herbicide, a unique solution developed internally combining four active ingredients with stability issues in a WDG formulation, which became a market reference.

Behind this differentiator expertise we count with a dedicated and specialized team with multidisciplinary backgrounds and a set of unique capabilities, mainly our GLP state-of-the-art laboratories which support the R&D development and registration activities.

With a broad range of international certification standards (GLP: Certification Physical-Chemical Laboratory, Pesticide Residues Laboratory, Microbiology and Cell Biology Laboratory and GEP Certification of the Efficacy Trial Unit) our laboratory capacity covers the main registration needs. Certifications like ISO 14001; ISO 17025; ISO 9001; ISO 50001; ISO 45001 and NP 4457 (Research, Development, and Innovation Management System), also guarantees the good performance and quality of our production.

What are the challenges and countermeasures during the process of formulation R&D, production, and application?

The biggest challenge for formulation R&D is to develop innovative solutions for farmers, with no negative impacts on the environment and human health, trying to shorten the time of development lowering the time to reach the market.

Another challenge is the actual regulatory environment, raising the uncertainty around the future of some active ingredients and co-formulants.

Taking in consideration those challenges, products that may combine different plant protection technology makes us look at the formulations with a completely different perspective searching for disruptive solutions able to maintain or improve product robustness in a more sustainable way.

Today ASCENZA is working with research groups in universities and investigation centres to increase our internal knowledge and have access to innovative solutions that can rapidly be applied to our sector.

Could you introduce your company’s Deformulation section? What is the relationship between the Formulation and Deformulation? What role does it play in the process of formulation development?

The R&D team is a multidisciplinary team where the Formulation and Deformulation work towards the same goal complementing each other during the process of product development.

The Deformulation is dedicated to analytical chemistry with great knowledge of surfactant science and chemistry, which gives inputs for the formulated product phys-chem properties, shelf-life stability, and other key characteristics of the market benchmarks. The core of the expertise is built from our people, biotechnologists, analytical chemists, organic chemists, with robust background in the sector.

The benchmarking studies developed in the Deformulation Laboratory are key insights to support the Formulation team in the development of robust, innovative, differentiated, and sustainable solutions.

What is the product development strategy in response to evolving industry changes?

As it is known the crop protection sector faces challenging moments seeking the safety and rationale use of products. Europe leads this trend but in ASCENZA we assume this as a global and inevitable tendency. Our global portfolio development strategy works to bring to the market solutions adapted to the most stringent regulations that can fit all ASCENZA current and future markets.

Additionally, ASCENZA, as the crop protection pillar of Rovensa Group, is taking advantage from the Group synergies, bringing innovative solutions to some of the problems farmers are facing in the fruits & vegetables area, and in the field crops. The strategy is to build a portfolio of new technologies, combining a vast set of tools with the ultimate goal of contributing for a more sustainable and safe activity, which is fully aligned with Rovensa “Well Balanced Agriculture” strategy.

This is the spirit behind an ongoing transformational project that will support the avenues of growth of ASCENZA and our contribution for the sustainability of the crop protection industry.

This article will be published in AgroPages '2022 Formulation & Adjuvant Technology ' magazine to be published this May.

If you'd like to join this magazine to promote your products and solutions. Please contact Grace Yuan via: grace@agropages.com


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