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Sprout inhibitor approved in the US and Canada for onions

Restrain is available in the United States and Canada since 2022 as a sprout inhibitor for onions, shallots and garlic. The product has now been approved by 14 states following umbrella national approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In Canada, the use of Restrain is permitted throughout the entire country.

After harvest, onions remain in storage sheds for months before being distributed to sales and processing locations. During that time, the onions can develop sprouts that affect the taste and make the onions unsuitable for sale and processing. Restrain prevents that.

Restrain is a natural sprout inhibitor based on the natural gas ethylene. By spreading ethylene in their storage locations, growers prevent the onions from sprouting. The method is already used in 40 countries worldwide as a sprout inhibitor for potatoes and onions, and as a seed potato accumulator.

Since 2022, the use of Restrain has been permitted in the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, Michigan, Utah, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Pennsylvania. The admission process is still ongoing in California.

Restrain is also expected to soon be approved for use in organic farming in North America. The company has already obtained this approval in Europe, because ethylene is a natural gas and does not leave any residues in the onions or potatoes, unlike many alternatives.

Dirk Garos, commercial director of Restrain, expects North American onion growers to benefit from the sprout control solution. “Many growers must deal with sprouting onions but they don’t use a sprout inhibitor yet. Others use a sprout inhibitor in the field, such as MH, but if onions don’t absorb it well, growers look for additional sprout inhibition in the storage phase. Moreover, existing resources are not suitable for organic farming. I expect that, just like in Europe, we will soon be admitted for that.”

Photo: Dreamstime

For more information:
Dirk Garos

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