Conocimientos en nutrición y metabolismo


Particle films: New and Safe Technology for Production of Quality Horticultural Produce

R.R. Sharma

With the increasing awareness among consumer about harmful effects of pesticidal residues used in the horticultural crops, there has been a rigorous search for non-chemical alternatives that could help in reducing the usage of pesticides. It was not only a rising concern for the consumer health but also for the environmental safety. Perhaps, it is this concern that has forced the planners for the recommendations of the use of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) throughout the world. As a result, several Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) have been recommended for the production of horticultural commodities. One of such innovations is the development of the processed Particle Film Technology (PFT). Particle film technology is the development of aqueous formulations from chemically inert mineral particles, which are specifically formulated for spraying over horticultural crops as ‘protective films’. Most of the particle film technologies are kaolin-based, which disperses easily in water With the advent of the technical advances in kaolin processing, it is now possible to produce kaolin particles with specific sizes, shapes and light reflective properties. It has led to the development of several such formulations such as Surround®, Surround® WP, RAYNOX®, CocoonTM, Parasol®, Anti-stress 500®, Purshade®, Screen®, Snow®, EclipseTM, Fruit Shield, Savona® SL etc., are available in the global market for their commercial use in horticultural crops for several desirable effects. These particle films reduce sun burn, fruit cracking, harmful insects and plant pathogen damage, in addition to enhancing the photosynthesis and yield and quality of horticultural products due to their basic physical properties. They also reduce solar injury and improve fruit finish but these effects are mainly influenced by the dose and time of application which differ widely among the crops. This technology is becoming increasingly popular in some countries yet others have to follow it. It can become an integral part of organic fruit production globally.