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UNSL scientists created a photodisinfectant that would be applied in fruit and vegetable products, replacing agrotoxics.
Scientists from the National University of San Luis (UNSL) developed a photodisinfectant for frutihorti products; glues that replaces the use of agrotoxics and allows fruits and vegetables to reach the consumer's table in good state of conservation.
The photodisinfectant is activated when it is in the presence of light, either solar or lamps, and kills microorganisms while they are being illuminated. This allows “to eliminate fungi and bacteria,” explained Matías Funes , assistant researcher at the Conicet who directed the study.
Among the advantages of the product that works as an insecticide, bactericidal or fungicide, it is noted that it quickly degrades with light. In addition, it does not produce accustoming and, as it is transparent, does not cover the nozzles of any applicators. They can be applied manually or using airplanes, so you save a lot of time on their administration.
The photodisinfectant compound is formulated with nanoemulsions , which are small emulsions that make it look clear and clean. It is not a synthesis product as it is obtained from a plant that is easily found in St. Louis.
It is St. John's wort , an ornamental plant that can be planted to make the product. It is developed by botanists, specialists in photochemistry, physicochemists, through a research project that began 6 years ago, the scientist said.
Replacing the agrotoxics used in mass crops adds to the health of the population and avoids the long chain of toxicity. “Agrotoxics produce great pollution in soils, water and even people's bodies,” said Funes.
The scientist indicated the process to validate the discovery of photodisinfectant. Two peppers were exposed to the action of the sun for five days and the one treated showed no variation in its texture and consistency, internal and external. The other pepper exhibited mushrooms on its surface on the third day.
Funes also explained the advantages for productions such as blueberries, which must withstand a harvest time and transport from the origin to the gondolas. With the photodisinfectant they could reach their consumers in healthy conditions.
The specialist revealed that companies that were interested in its use are from the agro-industrial sector. They would apply it on a large scale, although he clarified that the research team is also interested in getting it to the citizen. For orchards or a small production.
This photo disinfectant arose from the idea of adding added value to the native flora. This product also opened research for painkillers. These are made from carqueja under the dynamics of development more innovation (R&D) that drives the public university .
Publication Date: 03/01/2020
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