Controlled Release Pesticides
Pesticides are used for the control of pests in agriculture and vectors of human and animal diseases. However, their use involves risks to human health and the environment.
Most of the pesticide released into the environment is lost before reaching its target, due to physical, chemical or biological factors, and some more persistent pesticides can accumulate in the environment and prove hazardous to non-target species. Therefore, a growing emphasis has emerged on developing less persistent but more selective pesticides.
At the same time, because of the cost and other limitations in the development of new pesticides increasing attention is being paid to the design of improved delivery of existing pesticides.
Controlled release technology offers the opportunity to develop formulations which can improve the performance of pesticides by increasing their efficacy and safety and increase their environment friendliness.
A Prominent Perspective
The drive toward improvement of pesticides formulation through CR has been ongoing since the the 1960s, but while it didn't reach mass distribution in the past, there is a growing consensus of it relevance nowadays.
In 1994, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, wrote in the report Research and development of controlled release formulations of pesticides:
[...] CR formulations thus offer the following advantages over conventional formulations:
- Prolonged effective duration of non-persistent pesticides;
- Much less pesticide used for the same period of activity, resulting in less waste and fewer applications;
- Reduced environmental contamination, particularly reduced nonpoint source contamination of surface water and groundwater;
- Reduced losses due to environmental factors (evaporation, photolysis, leaching with water and degradation due to chemical and microbial factors), resulting in savings in the cost of the active ingredient;
- Reduced toxicity to non-target species of plants, mammals, birds, fish and other organisms;
- Improved efficacy of pesticides due to better targeting;
- Greater safety for the users and those who come in contact with the pesticide formulations.
As recently as in 2019, Deloitte wrote in its report on The future of agrochemicals, that
- Improvements in formulation, ease of use, shelf life and spectrum (including biologicals and other forms of Integrated Pest Management Practices) are at the frontline of opportunities with immediate impact, immediately followed by
- Reformulation of off-patent products into profitable agrochemicals cocktails, with more than 100 kinds of agrochemicals going off-patents between 2017 and 2023, with a value of $11.0B
One Technology + Ingenuity = Infinite Possibilities
The process for product development always falls back to three basic questions:
- WHAT active to apply (the ACTIVE)
- HOW to release it (the PLATFORM) and
- WHERE to release it (the APPLICATION)
By identifying the answer to these three variables, we design the product.
Then, we address the product Right to Operate and we brainstorm on which characteristic is novel enough to grant it IP protection.
- actives' pre-dosage
- air release
- water release
- trunk implant
- Slow Release
- Fast Release