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Development of a standardized neem cake and leaf extract-based biodefensive: OPENEEMmax"

Grant number: 16/21675-4
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: February 01, 2019 - October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal Investigator:Bianca Rebelo Lopes Simões
Grantee:Bianca Rebelo Lopes Simões
Host Company:Openeem For Life Indústria e Comércio S/A
City: São Paulo
Associated researchers:Edson Luiz Lopes Baldin ; Moacir Rossi Forim
Associated scholarship(s):18/26087-9 - Development of a standardized Neem cake and leaf extract-based biodefensive: OPENEEMmax®, BP.PIPE


Azadirachta indica A. Juss is extensively studied due to its biodefensive properties. At the same time, officially registrered products are in a very small number. In Brazil, no one is recommended to organic farming, a market that grows in a rate of almost 20% yearly. The low stability of azadirachtin, the major bioactive compound found in neem oil, is a feasible explanation. In addition, there is a lack of standardization in the extraction process and not much little is known about the impact of environmental changes impact on the level of the active principle in the plant. All these factors can lead to the lack of reprodutibility deficiency of major raw material, thus compromising the quality of the product to be sold. The main purpose of this project is the development of a standardized, effective and safe botanical defensive for both organic and traditional farming. In order to achieve this, the work should be divided into three stages: (i) produce a neem leaf extract and a neem cake extract through a standardized process; (ii) develop the standardized biodefensive, using a combination of microencapsulated leaf and cake extracts; and (iii) submit the standardized formulation to the officially recommend tests and register the product at the regulatory authorities in order to start the production and commercialization plan. The goals for the first PIPE phase are (i) optimize the leaf and cake extracts, looking for the best activity of each one against nationally important insect-plagues; and (ii) standardize the extraction process. Experimental design tools will be applied to optimize the cold maceration process, in order to have the most important parameters set in their optimal values. It will be based on principal component analysis of chemical profiles of the extracts, which will be obtained by HPLC. The biological activity of each extract against white fly, brown stink bug and fall armyworm will be used for the response surface modeling. The biological and chemical information will then be analyzed together in order to identify potential chemical markers. Based on this methodology, it is expected to achieve the best protocols for the manufacture of neem leaf and neem cake extracts that will be used as raw materials in the next stage (PIPE II). Since 3 plague models will be used to activity measurement, two scenarios are expected. In a convergent one, a single extract will be efficient for all plagues, leading to a standardized product, which broad sales market. In a divergent scenario, different extracts may show selectivity to each plague, resulting in higher added value products. These results will have an impact in the bioactive reprodutibility, regardless the interference of environment. It will also have a high impact in the quality of the extracts being used as raw material of OPENEEMmax". This project will address a very promising market, eagering good quality products, mainly in organic farming segment. It can also be another farmer's resource for the integrated pest management (IPM) in the Brazilian agribusiness, which responds for 23% of the Gross National Product. (AU)

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