Oral Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Novel technologies in stored product protection: The European perspective (4546)

Christos Athanassiou 1
  1. Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Magnesia, Greece

Although stored product protection application techniques are somewhat standardized in the developed world, there are often considerable differences among countries, arising from fundamental variations in legislation and consumers’ perceptions. Currently, stored product protection is based chiefly on the use of chemicals, but their continuous and often improper use has raised human safety environmental concerns. In Europe, organic production of durable stored products is much more developed than other areas, which constitutes essential the evaluation of alternative methods to conventional insecticides. Hence, in this context, the use of different “macro” and “micro” biocontrol agents has been largely supporter by European policy makers, and there are certain commercially available formulations that are already registered or are at the pre-commercial stage. Moreover, the use of pheromones for the control of insects at the post-harvest stages of durable commodities has been widely exploited in many areas, through mating disruption applications. Extreme temperatures, especially heat treatment, has been widely adopted for empty space treatment in European processing facilities (flour mills etc.), but also directly on the commodity (e.g. infrared). Modified and controlled atmospheres are also used in numerous occasions in Europe, especially nitrogen, which is usually applied in chambers. Other techniques include reduced-risk insecticides, such as nanoparticles and bacterial metabolites, which are now registered for application on stored grains. All these techniques are now used in large-scale applications, clearly suggesting that a meta-pesticide era in stored product protection in Europe is feasible. This feasibility, apart from the insecticidal efficacy, is also related to the fact that the cost of most of these approaches and techniques is directly comparable with the cost of conventional methods that are currently in use.