New Israeli technology develops a safe, plant-based insect repellent.
If there’s one thing a housewife hates, it’s opening a package of flour and seeing the flour moving around in there. Up till now, the most efficient non-toxic way of preventing insect infestation was to keep everything in the freezer. Good news for the consumer and food warehouses: Israel’s Bio[pack] biotechnology company has developed a natural product that effectively keeps insects away.
Israel 21c reports that insect-repelling properties of several different edible plants are the basis of the new product. We’re also keen on natural pest control here at Green Prophet: we’ve posted about plants with valuable anti-fungal properties in this post, and about sexy but sterile male insects reducing the mosquito population .
Bio[pack] can be used alone, sprayed around a food warehouse or your pantry, or integrated into food packaging. All ingredients are approved of by the FDA as “generally recognized as safe.” And the product is kosher. Insect infestation is a serious problem in the hot Middle East. Maybe Bio[pack] can prevent disgusting infestations like the worms that got into chocolate Easter eggs in the United Arab Emirates.
An excellent point is made by Shomo Navarro, co-founder of Bio[pack]: insects won’t build up a resistance to the product. This avoids the development of another kind of super-bug.
“Resistance is a process that takes place when an element gets inside an insect population, and some of the population survive.” (Surviving insects pass their resistance on to future generations; eventually most insects of that species are able to resist the pesticide). “Since our product is a repellent, the insects just stay away from the area where it is applied, so there is little chance of insects building up resistance.”
Looks like I’ll soon be able to take out all those flours and grains taking up so much room in my freezer.
More on natural pesticides:
Image of worm in a walnut by khrawlings via Flickr.
Miriam also writes a food blog.