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Create photodisinfectant to replace agrotoxic

UNSL scientists created a photodisinfectant to be applied in frutihorticultural products, replacing agrotoxic products.
Matías Funes
| 03 January, 2020 |

Scientists from the National University of San Luis (UNSL) developed a photodisinfectant for products which replaces the use of agrochemicals and allows fruits and vegetables to reach the table of consumers in good condition.

The photodisinfectant is activated when it is in the presence of light, whether solar or lamp, and kills microorganisms while they are being enlightened. This allows to “remove fungi and bacteria”, explained Matías Funes, researcher assistant to the Conicet who led the study.

Among the advantages of the product that works as a insecticide, bactericidal or fungicide, it stands out that it quickly degrades with the light. In addition, it does not produce accustom and, because it is transparent, does not cover the nozzles of any applicators. They can be applied manually or using aircraft, so you save a lot of time in their administration.


The source of the photodisinfectant

The photodisinfectant compound is formulated with nanoemulsions, which are small emulsions that make it look clear and clean. Not a product of synthesis since it is obtained from a plant that is easily found in St. Louis.

It’s about St. John’s wort. an ornamental plant that can be sown to make the product. Is developed by botanists, specialists in photochemistry, physicochemists, to through a research project that started 6 years ago, pointed out the scientific.

Utility and Application

Replace the agro-toxic used in crops mass adds to the health of the population and avoids the long chain of toxicity. “The Agrotoxic products produce a great contamination in soils, water and even in the organism of people,” Funes pointed out.

The scientist indicated the process to validate the discovery of the photodisinfectant. They exposed two peppers to the action of the sun for five days and the one that was treated did not present variations in its texture and consistency, internal and external. The other pepper exhibited mushrooms in 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 the 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 small production.

This disinfectant photo emerged from the idea of adding added value to the native flora. This product also opened research for painkillers. These are made from the carqueja under the dynamics of development plus innovation (R & D) that drives the

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