Students of the Technological Institute of Morelia have developed a protective film that can help increase the avocado's shelf life, using wild grass and vegetable oils.
The production of films is one of the methods recently used for food preservation and the use of vegetable oils gives this material a pesticidal property.
The development of the universities stands out because they use a wild grass that usually represents economic losses in the crops, as it has the capacity to reduce production. It is mixed with plant extracts of Leonotis nepetifolia.
The students of Biochemical Engineering, Diana Patricia Solís Aviles and Samara Zamudio Lopez, were responsible for this project, and received advice from Fernando Covian Nares and Fernando Bedolla Cazares.
Popularly known as Bola del Rey or Christmas Candle in countries of the American continent, such as Mexico, this plant is native to Africa. Over the years, it has been distributed to various nations.
It has a high content of secondary metabolites that inhibit the microbial growth of different species of bacteria and fungi, so using this plant's extracts in the preparation of green pesticides could be an alternative to the use of chemicals that pose a risk to health and the environment.
The Mexican students used it to stop the growth of anthracnose, a plant disease that affects avocado fruits, which allowed them to extend the fruit's shelf life by up to 20 days more.
In addition, they give value to the wild grass that was considered was invasive and caused losses to farmers.
In a statement, the Technological Institute of Morelia reported that the avocado was one of the fruits of major agricultural importance in Mexico, which exports about 260 thousand tons of this fruit a year. Michoacan is the main producer of avocado worldwide.
They also stated that this work would help improve avocado production and sale, which would benefit producers.