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New biofungicide to protect yields in fruit and vegetable crops

BioFun-1 to provide growers with a novel mode of action to address increasing fungicide resistance.

Food and crop protection company Biotalys NV announced the results from more than 100 field trials with its first biofungicide, BioFun-1, which is on track to launch in the United States in 2022, followed by global market introductions. Developing a new generation of protein-based biocontrol solutions, Biotalys aims to help farmers protect yields and reduce food waste by both preventing crop loss and extending post-harvest protection with sustainable and safe products.

More than 50 efficacy trials against major pests

The 2019 field trial program took place across the United States and key European countries, and included more than 50 efficacy trials against major pests such as Botrytis cinerea and powdery mildew. These diseases impact yields and quality in a wide range of fruit and vegetables crops, and are responsible for food losses, pre- and post-harvest.

High protection against multiple pathogens

According to Biotalys, in solo applications BioFun-1 provided high protection against multiple pathogens in the majority (over 85 percent) of the trials compared to the untreated control. “BioFun-1 showed a clean dose responsecurve, allowing dose rate modulation to adapt to the disease pressure conditions. Under severe disease pressure a higher dose rate provides comparable protection to the chemical reference without the challenge of residues for the growers,” states the company.

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The 2019 field trial program took place across the United States and key European countries, and included more than 50 efficacy trials against major pests such as Botrytis cinerea and powdery mildew.- Photos: Biotalys
The 2019 field trial program took place across the United States and key European countries, and included more than 50 efficacy trials against major pests such as Botrytis cinerea and powdery mildew.- Photos: Biotalys

Chemical residues reduced by up to 68%

In 89% of the trials, the IPM program with BioFun-1 in rotation with commercial fungicides performed on par with the standard chemical IPM program, resulting in comparable yield, fruit quality and post-harvest shelf-life while chemical residues were reduced by up to 68%, says the Belgian company.

The next field trial program is in process. Spanning more than 150 field trials in various crops and different environmental conditions in Europe, South Africa and the United States, the 2020 field trial program will support the regulatory efficacy data package and will focus on the intrinsic activity of the biofungicide, field efficacy validation and characterisation, and the impact of the end-season positioning in harvested fruits and vegetables.

This field trial program complements ongoing product safety studies that will support the registration dossiers on track to be submitted later this year in the United States and Europe, as well as the development and implementation of the product supply chain.

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New biofungicide to protect yields in fruit and vegetable crops

Maximise the yield of high-quality fruits

Luc Maertens, COO of Biotalys, said, “These results clearly indicate the unique potential of our powerful technology platform to deliver new food and crop protection solutions. Our first biofungicide provides growers with a reliable, novel mode of action product to maximise the yield of high-quality fruits and vegetables. The extended shelf-life of tasty, appealing fruits and vegetables with substantially reduced residue levels adds significant value by addressing the needsof both consumers and growers, reducing food waste and securing global export.”

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